TEAM

“We work to be one powerful force in paving the way for a progressive global consciousness through film”

DANIELA KON  | Founder + Executive Director

Daniela Kon is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer and consultant working at the intersection of human rights, global development and impact media for the past decade. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, she completed her BA in Media and Cultural Studies and MA in Documentary Production at The London College of Communications and Royal Holloway, University of London. She moved to New York in 2003 working for Emmy award-winning director Marc Levin at Blowback Productions, and was the researcher and assistant editor for HBO and THINK Film’s “Protocols of Zion,” an Official Sundance Selection. She founded documentary and impact agency, DEEDA, in 2005 and has since worked with filmmakers, NGOs and aid organizations in Cambodia, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Israel, Liberia, Senegal, and the US, creating documentaries and impact campaigns on a plethora of social justice issues. Her film credits range from the award winning documentary TALIBE, the United Nations FAO Ending Hunger Campaign and the UN Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD), to collaborations with grassroots initiatives in Education, Voluntourism, Youth Leadership, Girls and Women’s Empowerment, LGBT Rights, Water Management, Children’s Rights, and Modern-day Slavery. Kon is a member of CAP with Creative Visions Foundation, a board member of the HRW Film Committee and the Women’s Rights Committee of Human Rights Watch in Los Angeles. She is the co-founder of humanitarian robotics company, Symbiobotics, a producer and strategist for social issue documentaries, impact media productions, and international advocacy campaigns. Driven by the premise of maximizing responsible impact through creativity, Kon founded the Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA) in 2012, dedicated to advancing the culture of impact filmmaking and to supporting filmmakers and change-makers in their work.  

GEMMA BRADSHAW | Director of Programs

Gemma’s experience in both film and public policy are brought together in her dedication to social impact cinema. Since winning a Blue Peter Badge – part of a national BBC TV program – for a recycling campaign poster at the age of 10, Gemma has been passionate about encouraging people to play their part. She went on to complete a BA in Geography at the University of Durham and then a graduate degree in Development Studies at the School of Oriental & African Studies, U. of London. Gemma started her career in London, first in local government and on to lead the center for local sustainability at the local democracy thinktank LGiU. Her research on the role of local government in reducing carbon emissions was presented as part of the UN Climate Change negotiations at COP15. A relocation to San Francisco opened her eyes to the power of the film industry to influence change, and as COO for the SF Green Film Festival she used her skills in strategy, communications and building partnerships to grow the reach of the festival and engaging audiences in action. In her new LA home, Gemma joins SIMA as the Director of Programs ready to open even more eyes to the power of documentary films through the education program SIMA Classroom and online cinema club SIMA RAMA.

VIRGINIA PITTARO | Global Partnerships Director

Virginia works at the intersection of sustainable global development and entrepreneurship. Born in Argentina, she started her career at the Endeavor Foundation where she developed a pioneer Corporate Social Responsibility Program to leverage the social impact of business entrepreneurs. Later, she worked at the United Nations Development Program Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative in New York. In 2012, she was the founding Executive Director of Sistema B Argentina, an organization created to promote a purpose-driven economy and a new type of companies, B Corps, that uses businesses as a force for good. She also led the expansion of the global community of B Corps in Latin America. In 2015 she accepted an offer to join the Ministry of Social Development in Argentina. There, she served as the National Director of Innovation and Capabilities Development of the largest conditional cash transfer welfare program in the country. Virginia holds a B.A in International Affairs, magna cum laude, at San Andres University in Argentina, and, sponsored by the Fulbright Commission, earned a Master Degree in Public Policy and International Development at University of Maryland, USA.

EVA S. NELSON | Liaison to the United Nations

Eva S. Nelson is SIMA’s liaison to the UN and other organizations in Europe and the United States. She has lived and worked in Africa, the US, and Europe. Ms. Nelson graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Mathematics and went on to work with multiple financial institutions on Wall Street. After several years she realized that her calling was in international humanitarian work. She joined the United Nations as a Consultant, where she still works. As an advocate for human rights, child education, peace and anti-slavery, she lends her assistance to organizations dedicated to these causes including Artists4Freedom. Ms. Nelson is also an award-winning author who writes African action-adventure stories on topics like: human-trafficking, war, LRA, espionage, colonialism and corruption. Nelson’s first novel, “Nightmare Along the River Nile” is set in Uganda and Sudan. It is about a student who was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and sold into slavery. “Nightmare Along the River Nile” was listed among the top books on slavery by “The No Project.” Nelson’s second novel, “The Helpers” is an international tale of espionage and corruption, which is set in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Europe and the United States.

ERIN NEWMAN | Operations Manager

Erin is a Los Angeles native with multidisciplinary interests involving the intersection of film, social justice, and research. She graduated from New York University in 2013, where she earned an individualized B.A. in Spanish and Sociolinguistics with a minor in Studio Art. Erin has continually built upon her experience in the nonprofit world, working with both domestic and international nonprofit organizations that work to mobilize people around critical social justice issues and advocate for underrepresented populations. She has worked on impact documentaries in all stages of production and is passionate about research-based creative projects that foster community engagement and address local and global challenges.

KRISTI MANNING | Impact Agent & Grassroots Program Officer

For more than 15 years, Kristi Manning has been dedicated to helping maximize humanitarian relief efforts, working as a consultant, field operations manager, project director, and international event organizer for non-profits worldwide. She combines expertise in both institutional aid and grassroots initiatives, providing support in fundraising, planning, implementation and monitoring of local and global development programs. Manning is the co-founder of The Next Right Thing, a non-profit connecting critically ill or injured children from developing nations with free medical treatment and transport. Her clients include Dubai Cares, The Starbright Foundation, Carrie-On, Paul Newman’s Painted Turtle Camp, and the Strongheart Fellowship. Manning oversees SIMA’s Grassroots Program, facilitating screenings for community-based humanitarian and advocacy initiatives worldwide.

BRANDON ROSS | Director of Communications

Brandon is a documentary filmmaker who has been focusing on social justice issues for over 15 years. He made his first film at the age of 17 entitled ‘A Day in the Life’, which centers on kids in South Los Angeles navigating urban landscapes, using “street politics”. He has held many positions within the creative arts industry for almost 20 years, including Producer, Talent Manager and Director of Marketing, and has always stated that “The marriage between Art and Movements can make a huge impact”. In addition to working on social conscious documentaries, Brandon is an avid campaigner for animal rights. He has worked on several campaigns for PETA, World Wildlife Fund and The Humane Society. As SIMA’s Director of Communication, Brandon is hoping his experience within these areas will help amplify the organizations message to a broader audience.

 

OUR BOARD


 

PROF. DAVID CRAIG
Communications & Media Professor, Producer, Activist | USC Annenberg

CLAUDIA FLORES
Creative Director, Consultant | Vena-Cava

SUSI BAHAT
Chair | Human Rights Watch, WRC Los Angeles

LOUIS ARNITZ
Chief Executive Officer | i:FAO AG

TINA KUSHNER ESQ.
Attorney, Kushner & Kushner

Nicole Feix
Executive + Creative Director, Sevenstar

TREVOR HALL
President & CEO | Open Roads

ENAT SIDI
Editor, Sundance + Academy Judge, Oscar Nominee

RICHARD LIZAMBRI
MD, Director | Amgen Inc

MARIA GAMBALE
Director, Producer, Cinematographer

PATRICIA BILLINGS
Publisher & Educator | Milet Publishing

ANDREW MCGREGOR
Journalist, Filmmaker, Founder | The Tiziano Project

SHAWN HUMPHREY
Educator, Innovator, Development Consultant