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.  

VIRGINIA PITTARO | Director of Global Partnerships

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.

MICHAEL MENDOZA | Operations Manager

Born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, Michael received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Television Production, cum laude, from Pepperdine University. He has worked in the entertainment industry in various capacities for almost 10 years and has been able to align his work to projects and companies that he finds inspiring. He loves to partake in projects that allow vibrant forms of creativity, whether behind a lens, a computer screen, a pen and paper or simply helping others in their creative endeavors. He has a deep interest in impact documentaries and is passionate about issues surrounding poverty, immigration rights and social justice.

ALEX LILIENFELD | Digital Communications & Marketing Manager

With a background in communications and sustainability, Alex has applied both creative and critical thinking to various projects with the aim of influencing a cultural shift toward more environmentally and socially responsible behavior. She is enthusiastic about harnessing the power of media to foster a better future – one that respects people and the planet. Alex is particularly passionate about widening the environmental discussion with a fresh perspective on climate change. She is part of the team behind It’s Freezing in LA!, an independent magazine that invites writers and illustrators from a variety of fields to provide their take on how climate change is affecting society. Alex holds a B.A. in Media Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and earned her MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London.

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.

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

ERINN SULLIVAN
Creative Director, Luna Impact

MILENA JANCOVIC
Director of Finance, Myriad Pictures

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

PATRICIA BILLINGS
Publisher & Educator | Milet Publishing

ANDREW MCGREGOR
Journalist, Filmmaker, Founder | The Tiziano Project

SHAWN HUMPHREY
Educator, Innovator, Development Consultant