LOS ANGELES (February 10, 2022) – What common thread exists in all movements for social justice happening simultaneously—throughout time—across the globe? Storytelling. Be it in the pursuit of truth, or power, or purpose; the art of storytelling is alive and cracked wide open in this year’s #SIMA2022 winners lineup. 

SIMA, the non-profit impact media agency that celebrates, curates and distributes documentaries and creative media projects that advance positive social change, announced their 2022 festival winners this morning. Chosen from 40 finalists spanning 25 countries, the SIMA 2022 winners leverage the transformative art of storytelling and the ever-evolving power of media in profound and remarkable ways. 

From the tales of journalists shifting paradigms in the sociopolitical landscape of their countries in Best Feature Documentary Winner, SOFTIE, and Best Director & Best Cinematography Feature Documentary Winner, WRITING WITH FIRE; to the examination of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s escalating attacks on the media, told through the story of his prime target: journalist Maria Ressa, in Best Editing Winner A THOUSAND CUTS, and the citizen-journalistic viral confrontation of a powerful senator on an airplane in Lens to Action Jury Prize Winner, NOT GOING QUIETLY—this much is for certain: from activists, to artists, to audiences—the power of storytelling is the one thing that unites every movement across the globe. 

“We’re so proud to champion these extraordinary filmmakers who transform their cameras, their narratives, and by extension their audiences, into vehicles for social justice. Congratulations to all the Winners!” — Daniela Kon Lieberberg SIMA Founder + CEO

With unassuming and powerful lead characters being catapulted to the front stage like Teodora Vásquez, the spokesperson of the women imprisoned in El Salvador for having had a miscarriage in Ethos Jury Prize & Stylistic Achievement Jury Prize Winner, FLY SO FAR; and the heartful story of an aspiring photojournalist discovering the power of her own voice while struggling to survive homelessness in Creative Activism Jury Prize Winner, STREET REPORTER—the #SIMA2022 winners represent a call to arms lens for justice and truth-telling, at all costs. 

When journalism isn’t playing an overt central role like in these #SIMA2022 award-winning films mentioned above, its undertones are made present through the juxtaposition of the narratives we’re exposed to in mainstream media that are so powerfully subverted in Best Short Documentary Winner, THREE SONGS FOR BENAZIR. Here, audiences meet Shaista, a young man who—newly married to Benazir and living in a camp for displaced persons in Kabul—struggles to balance his dreams of being the first from his tribe to join the Afghan National Army with the responsibilities of starting a family. Not your typical narrative on the #Afghanistan news feed. 

And, when not being leveraged to contrast and challenge; journalism, storytelling, and media is being innovated and reimagined through new mediums like SIMA’s Extended Reality/Interactive Media Category Award Winners A QUIET RIPPLE and UN(RE)SOLVED who are trailblazing the field of immersive and interactive technology to advance creative storytelling for social good. 

With heart-pounding sequences, unique access and narratives, inspiring lead characters, and mesmerizing cinematography, the #SIMA2022 winners take viewers on a visual journey around the globe, bringing audiences face-to-face with some of the world’s most eye-opening, and urgent perspectives. Inequality, race, gender, migration, spirituality, conservation, and human rights; art, storytelling, and the pursuit of a more just and equitable future portrait a world living on both the brink of collapse and profound transformation with one overarching theme: truth. 

“I don’t know what truth is. Truth is something unattainable. We can’t think we’re creating truth with a camera. But what we can do, is reveal something to viewers that allows them to discover their own truth.” —Michel Brault, Filmmaker




The SIMA 2022 Winners are eligible for entry into SIMA’s global community screening series, SIMA X, and online education platform, SIMA Classroom, which reaches over 75,000 students around the globe. 

Full List of SIMA 2022 winners: simaawards.org/2022-winners

More information: simaawards.org



SIMA (Social Impact Media Awards) is a global curator and impact media agency dedicated to advancing cross-cultural understanding, human rights and education by celebrating contemporary social-issue documentaries of excellence, screening films in communities and classrooms worldwide, and supporting content creators, educators and changemakers.



SIMA’s Sponsors are committed to the collaborative effort of honoring the most thought-provoking documentary films of our time. The 10th Annual SIMA Awards are powered by Blackmagic Design, Human Sustainability Project, The Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), WITNESS and Double Exposure.


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