SUBMIT

The annual SIMA Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in social impact storytelling, honoring the most cutting edge filmmaking from around the world that inspires activism, compassion and social transformation. Each year, projects are selected from over 140 countries, competing for awards, cash prizes, media features, and entry into SIMA’s distribution programs that bring selected works to communities and classrooms worldwide.

In addition to honoring Feature and Short Documentaries, Impact Videos, Interactive + XR, the SIMA Awards recognize Production Companies whose body of work demonstrates excellence in creating responsible impact through diverse formats of visual storytelling.

SIMA 2023 IS NOW CLOSED.


ENTRY CATEGORIES

DOCUMENTARY FILMS (FEATURES + SHORTS)

We are looking for original, wise, brave, eye-opening and creative productions that capture and illuminate the pulse, the people and the movements behind today’s global issues. We seek productions that raise important questions about the state of our contemporary world, and inspire viewers to reflect on the meaning and potential of social activism and social transformation.

XR (EXTENDED REALITY) + INTERACTIVE

Immersive Technology is demonstrating its potential to advance creative storytelling for social good. We are looking to honor the trailblazers in this field.

  1. VR / AR / MR / 360
  2. Reporting / Journalism
  3. Installations
  4. Apps/ Websites
  5. Creative Advocacy and Campaigns

IMPACT VIDEOS (INNOVATIONS + CREATIVE IMPACT)

Organizations, foundations, creative agencies and content creators are invited to submit their work. We are looking for:

    1. Innovation videos that share unique insight into “how impact works”, capturing distinctive approaches, creative models, successful tactics and innovative projects in global development, education and social justice initiatives.
    2. Creative impact and awareness videos that inspire critical consciousness of current social issues, for example: social-advertising, cause marketing, changemaker features, impact poetry films, or artistic takes on social advocacy.
We are especially interested in:
  • Issues relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Transparency and Sustainability in the humanitarian/ human rights/ global social action sector
  • Everyday stories of individuals, groups and cultures
  • Campaigning films geared to raising awareness and calls to action
  • Examples of social engagement and activism – both positive and those that have not been successful

Example themes:

EDUCATION MODELS, INDIGENOUS RIGHTS, FOOD SECURITY, LGBTQ RIGHTS, WATER, ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION/ JUSTICE, ENERGY / TECHNOLOGY, RESPONSIBLE TOURISM, CONFLICT RESOLUTION / DIPLOMACY, CHILDREN’S RIGHTS, LOCAL & GLOBAL ECONOMY, DISEASE CONTROL / PREVENTION, TRAUMA RECOVERY / REHABILITATION, REFUGEES, HEALTH, DISCRIMINATION, STIGMA, AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT, GENDER BASED VIOLENCE / EQUALITY, GIRLS & WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT, YOUTH PROGRAMS, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT/ MOBILIZATION, SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP, MICROFINANCE, MEDIA / CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATIONS, ARTISTIC ADVOCACY, RACIAL JUSTICE, DISASTER RESPONSE, DISABILITY JUSTICE, LABOR RIGHTS

PRODUCTION COMPANIES

Companies with a demonstrated track record of producing social impact media ( Documentaries, Narrative film, Web Series, Interactive, Video Journalism, Cause Marketing, and XR are invited to compete for recognition of their creative impact.

We are looking for:

  • Organizational commitment to advancing social impact through media
  • Examples of impact storytelling you produced and the generated impact

RULES & REGULATIONS

ELIGIBILITY

Films must be completed between October 2021 and September 2022 to be eligible for entry. Each title is permitted to enter once to SIMA. Titles that have entered in the past are not permitted to enter into the competition in subsequent years. Each entry may be submitted by only one individual or organization. If the film is a co-production, the entrant assumes full responsibility for notifying the other co-production partners of the entry. In the event of multiple entries for the same film, copyright ownership will determine which entry is accepted. The entrant is responsible for securing and clearing all rights.

CATEGORY RULES

FEATURE – Individual, stand-alone documentary, 40 or more minutes in length.

SHORT – Individual, stand-alone documentary, less than 40 minutes in length.

XR (EXTENDED REALITY) + INTERACTIVE  – Individual, stand-alone XR + Interactive projects, VR, AR, MR or 360-degree video, less than 20 minutes in length.

IMPACT VIDEO * – Individual, stand-alone video, between 2 and 20 minutes in length.

PRODUCTION COMPANY – Registered legal entity with more than 5 impact media productions in its history.

*NOTE: Videos merely geared towards fundraising or brand advertising are NOT ACCEPTED

AWARDS & JURY PRIZES

Named recipients are limited to two persons, one of whom must be the credited Director who exercised directorial control, and the other of whom must have a Producer/Director credit.

DOCUMENTARY FILMS (FEATURES & SHORTS)

AWARDS (FEATURES & SHORTS)

Best Documentary | Best Director | Best Cinematography | Best Editing | Best Sound Editing

JURY PRIZES < $1000 cash or in-kind prize per category

Transparency | Stylistic Achievement | Ethos | Lens to Action

SYSTEMIC CHANGE AWARD < $2500 cash prize (Sponsored by the Systemic Change Foundation)

XR (EXTENDED REALITY) + INTERACTIVE

  • Suitable finalists are eligible for distribution via SIMA Academy

AWARDS

Immersive Impact

JURY PRIZES < $1000 cash or in-kind prize per category

Creative Advocacy | Journalistic Achievement

IMPACT VIDEOS (INNOVATIONS & CREATIVE IMPACT)

  • Finalists are eligible for distribution via SIMA Academy

AWARDS

Humanitas | Creative Activism

JURY PRIZES < $500 cash or in-kind prize per category

Innovation | Impact

PRODUCTION COMPANIES

AWARDS

VITAL VOICES – awarded to a company whose productions serve underrepresented and underserved stories that bring vital voices from the margins to the mainstream

CREATIVE IMPACT – awarded to a company whose productions, approach and dedication to impact storytelling is setting industry standards that raise the bar of quality, innovation, equity and diversity.

JUDGING

SIMA’s JURY of award-winning media industry leaders, impact producers, educators, film and human rights experts select winners for each award category and jury prize. Films are judged on their storytelling, artistic and technical merit and their potential to ignite critical consciousness, best practices and actions for progressive change. Entries from Production Companies are judged on their unique contributions to the landscape and culture of social impact storytelling.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

All (non-English language) media entries must be sub-titled in English. Multiple projects may be submitted, however each film must have a separate completed submission form. Companies are eligible to submit in multiple categories (for example in: Production Company and Documentary), each requiring a separate submission form.

If your media submission is short-listed as a FINALIST, we will require an electronic press kit (EPK) to be sent via email to [email protected], and a high-res digital download of your film (MPEG4/ h264 @1080p / 10—25mbps) H264/MPEG.

ENTRY FEES

Entries must be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee. Entry fees are not refundable. Fees cover registration, site security, notification that your entry has been received, notification of results, media and data management and storage. These fees may be paid via Paypal and credit card. You will find links for payment on your respective Submission Form page.

Early Bird Deadline (September 7th – September 16th)

Documentary Features: $ 45 | Documentary Shorts: $30 | XR: $ 45  | Impact Videos: $20 | Production Companies $90

Regular Deadline (September 17th – September 30th)

Documentary Features: $ 50 | Documentary Shorts: $35 | XR: $ 50  | Impact Videos: $25 | Production Companies $100

Late Deadline (October 1st – October 7th)

Documentary Features: $60 | Documentary Shorts: $45 | XR: $ 60 | Impact Videos: $35 | Production Companies $130

PRE-PRESS, PUBLICITY, MEDIA

Entry in this competition grants SIMA the right to use trailers as well as clips (2 minutes maximum), photographs, and all related names, biographical materials and data, trademarks, logos, and/or related marketing or promotional materials for publicity and promotional purposes for the SIMA websites, as well as websites of SIMA’s promotional partners, media sponsors, and web aggregators. SIMA reserves the right to use any submitted materials for all promotional purposes, including all existing and future media platforms in perpetuity.

ARCHIVE

All entrants agree to release digital files of their production for non-circulation reference at the SIMA organizers archive. Hard copies, DVDs and publicity materials submitted to SIMA will not be returned.