The annual SIMA Awards celebrate the highest standard of 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, VR + 360, the SIMA Awards recognize Production Companies whose body of work demonstrates outstanding achievements in creating impact through diverse formats of visual storytelling, as well as Funders, both Corporate Entities and Grant-Makers/ Foundations whose support of social impact media is uniquely empowering todays content creators on the forefront of social change.
SIMA 2021 IS NOW CLOSED FOR ENTRIES
WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN FEBRUARY 2021
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.
VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) + 360
Social impact virtual reality films are said to be the future of empathy-building impact storytelling. We are looking for the trailblazers in this emerging field.
- Reporting / Citizens Journalism
- Experimental / 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:
- 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.
- 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 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Transparency and Sustainability in the humanitarian/ human rights/ global development 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
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
Companies with a demonstrated track record of producing social impact media ( Documentaries, Narrative film, Web Series, Interactive, Video Journalism, Cause Marketing, and Virtual Reality/ 360/ AR 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
IMPACT MEDIA FUNDERS (CORPORATE SPONSORS + FOUNDATIONS/ GRANT-MAKERS)
With a special focus on innovative models that support established and/or emerging talent we are inviting both corporate and non-profit funders of social impact media productions (Film / Documentary / Video / Web / Interactive/ Campaigns) to be recognized for uniquely empowering and catalyzing content creation on the forefront of social change.
We are looking for:
- Trailblazing entities that support the power of media to build public and political will for social action.
- Corporate entities or non-profit grant-makers who understand the importance of media funding and its role in cultivating a just, equitable and compassionate society.
- Innovative funding approaches that empower current and future content creators.
RULES & REGULATIONS
Films must be completed between October 2019 and September 2020 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.
FEATURE – Individual, stand-alone documentary, 40 or more minutes in length.
SHORT – Individual, stand-alone documentary, less than 40 minutes in length.
VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) + 360 – Individual, stand-alone VR 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.
IMPACT MEDIA FUNDER – Registered legal entity with more than 5 funded/sponsored 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)
- Feature Finalists are eligible for distribution via the SIMA X Series
- Short Finalists are eligible for distribution via the SIMA X Series and SIMA Classroom
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
VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)
Best VR Experience | Best Director | Best Cinematography | Best Editing | Best Sound Experience
JURY PRIZES < $1000 cash or in-kind prize per category
Immersive Impact | Creative Advocacy | Journalistic Achievement
IMPACT VIDEOS (INNOVATIONS & CREATIVE IMPACT)
- Finalists are eligible for distribution via SIMA Classroom
Humanitas | Creative Activism
JURY PRIZES < $500 cash or in-kind prize per category
Innovation | Impact
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 film productions, approach and dedication to impact storytelling is setting industry standards that raise the bar of quality, equity and diversity
IMPACT MEDIA FUNDERS (CORPORATE SPONSORS & FOUNDATIONS)
Catalyst – awarded to a funder who is nurturing underserved impact storytelling talent
Vanguard – awarded to a funder who is setting industry standards that raise the bar of quality, equity and diversity in the impact media space
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 potential to ignite critical consciousness through concept, direction, storytelling, integrity and creativity, and their ability to inspire awareness, dialogues, best practices and actions for progressive change. Entries from Production Companies and Funders are judged on their unique contributions to the landscape and culture of social impact storytelling.
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@example.com, and a high-res digital download of your film (MPEG4/ h264 @1080p / 10—25mbps) H264/MPEG.
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 8th – September 23rd)
Documentary Features: $ 45 | Documentary Shorts: $30 | VR: $ 45 | Impact Videos: $20 | Production Companies $90 | Funders: $120
Regular Deadline (September 24th – October 14th)
Documentary Features: $ 50 | Documentary Shorts: $35 | VR: $ 50 | Impact Videos: $25 | Production Companies $100 | Funders: $150
Late Deadline (October 15th – October 28th)
Documentary Features: $60 | Documentary Shorts: $45 | VR: $ 60 | Impact Videos: $35 | Production Companies $130 | Funders: $180
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 website, 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.
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.