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Ignite the power of media to create social change

by SIMA Studios
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change
Ignite the power of media to create social change

Thank you once again for your continued support of SIMA! We’re excited to share our most recent updates from each of our programs with you.

SIMA Awards:

It's that time of the year again - save the date for SIMA 2020! We will officially open submissions for social impact features, shorts and virtual reality experiences in September 2019. We look forward to reviewing the impactful submissions!

SIMA Classroom:

Designed as a fast track to global citizenship education, the online streaming platform takes students on a journey from empathy and critical thinking to action. Over 1,847 educators, 43,816 students and 201 institutions globally are already using the platform.  

Selected from the finalists and winners of the annual Social Impact Media Awards, SIMA Classroom is a global, ever-current and expansive streaming service presenting the gold standard of social-issue cinematic storytelling. It provides access to a carefully curated collection of over 165 award-winning short documentaries and Virtual Reality films with learning resources and participatory skill-building lessons. 

In order to keep scaling the scope and depth of our impact, we launched an SDG Global Education Give Away in June which inspired 50+ applicants to share stories about their commitment to advancing the Global Goals in their classroom. We are pleased to announce the winner is RJ Sakai, Director of Social Innovation at Sequoyah High School.

This month, we proudly introduced the new SIMA Teacher Award. At the intersection of global citizenship education and media innovation, SIMA celebrates educators using this pivotal space as a catalyst for change. The annual SIMA Teacher Award will honor one exceptional teacher who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to utilizing social impact media as a springboard for global education and meaningful community engagement.

SIMAx:

For the second year in a row, we partnered with World Merit to present our SDG Challenge! Individuals hosted screenings across the globe from Bangladesh to Thailand, South Africa to the UK, Malawai to Ghana, Burundi to Morocco (and more!) to inspire their communities to take action using the power of documentaries addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More than 1,130 people in total took part in the global screenings!

SIMA's Fiscal Sponsorship:

Fiscal sponsorship is a formal arrangement with a nonprofit organization, such as SIMA, who agrees to sponsor a project that furthers our mission, for the purpose of fundraising through grants and donations. This alternative to starting their own nonprofit allows projects to seek grants and solicit tax-deductible donations for a creative social impact project, documentary or campaign, with the oversight and endorsement of SIMA, the world’s pioneering global social impact media agency.

We have since added four projects: Opera Ritrovata - small portable opera company with a sense of humor—dedicated to promoting unjustly forgotten works of women and minorities as well as fresh reinterpretations of currently canonic pieces, Patient Orator - a project emphasizing the importance of community by bridging the gap between public and private health, between policy groups, civilians, patients and care providers, FIIS - a street action festival that mixtures music, culture, and innovation, seeking to accelerate a cultural transformation for the common good—a festival where ‘TED Talks meets Glastonbury,’ and the power of innovative ideas resonate with the social rhythm of music and arts and, lastly, Full Emotions Arts Program - a project that runs different arts, cultural and education programs that connect artists to audiences. 

SIMA Staff Pick:

We are giving audiences a barrier-free entry to experiencing social impact cinema and transforming the RAMA into the SIMA Staff Pick of the Month - streaming one doc/video at no cost to viewers through the SIMA Studios website.

For August, we are featuring Through The Wall, directed by Tim Nackashi and produced by Chelo Alvarez-Stehle and Tim Nackashi. The film is an intimate portrait of a family divided by the US-Mexico border.

This month we are also highlighting the incredible work of Freedom for Immigrants. Devoted to abolishing immigration detention, Freedom for Immigrants monitors the human rights abuses faced by detained immigrants through a national hotline and network of volunteers, while also modeling a community-based alternative to detention that welcomes immigrants into the social fabric of the United States.

“At this moment, tens of thousands of people — mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons — are currently languishing in a vast network of prisons and jails for no other reason than their immigration status. They remain separated from and deprived of everything they know: their loved ones, their homes, their communities, their liberty. We know that this system, which is profiting off their suffering, is immoral and goes against our values as a country. More than ever, we need to put an end to these cages and instead build solutions to welcome them into our country, treating them with dignity and respect. We need to work together to be done with detention.”
– Christina Fialho, Co-Executive Director, Freedom for Immigrants

As always, thank you for your invaluable contributions to helping us scale social impact through visual storytelling worldwide.

With warmth and gratitude from the SIMA Team.

Thank you once again for your continued support of SIMA! We’re excited to share our most recent updates from each of our programs with you.


SIMA AWARDS UPDATES:

Fresh from the announcement of our SIMA Awards 2019 in February, we’re already putting plans in place to launch SIMA Awards 2020. We will officially open submissions for social impact features, shorts and virtual reality experiences in September 2019. We look forward to reviewing the impactful submissions!


SIMA CLASSROOM UPDATES:

Designed as a fast track to global citizenship education, the online streaming platform takes students on a journey from empathy and critical thinking to action. Over 1,825 educators, 42,570 students and 170 institutions globally are already using the platform.  

Selected from the finalists and winners of the annual Social Impact Media Awards, SIMA Classroom is a global, ever-current and expansive streaming service presenting the gold standard of social-issue cinematic storytelling. It provides access to a carefully curated collection of over 165 award-winning short documentaries and Virtual Reality films with learning resources and participatory skill building lessons. The 2019 SIMA AWARDS allowed us to incorporate gems such as The Future of Iraq, Dignity with Flowers and Lives on Hold in Lebanon to bring global issues such as human rights, refugees, and social entrepreneurship to life in the classroom.

In order to keep scaling the scope and depth of our impact, we launched strategic partnerships with Qatar Foundation International and Edvant Edge Africa.

We are delighted to have Edvant Edge Africa as a SIMA Classroom partner to harness the power of the world’s best social impact storytelling in service of quality 21st-century global citizenship education in Africa. As part of this pilot program, we provide a free three-year subscription for 20 educational institutions across Africa.

This month, together with Qatar Foundation International, we launched the Arab World Spotlight Challenge and Playlist to help educators around the globe bring the Arab world into their classroom. The Arab World Spotlight (AWS) Playlist serves as a springboard for learning about the Arab world and global social issues through an authentic lens that activates empathy, critical thinking and collaboration. Curated as a window into the richness, beauty and diversity of the Arab world, the playlist shows intimate testimonies and on the ground stories that allow viewers to connect with individuals and communities often stigmatized on the basis of prejudice and to build new perspectives founded on cross-cultural understanding, respect and tolerance.


TRAVELING SERIES UPDATES:

In June, Adventure Trade Travel Association (ATTA) will screen Poverty Inc., a film that unearths an uncomfortable side of charity that can no longer ignore. From TOMs Shoes to international adoptions, from solar panels to U.S. agricultural subsidies, the film challenges each of us to ask the tough question: Could I be part of the problem?

Also taking place in June, The United States National Committee (USNC) for UN Women, Los Angeles Chapter is screening Megolonyo, the story of a Women’s Empowerment Group started by female survivors of the Northern Ugandan War in search of rehabilitation, economic stability, and emotional support, for their upcoming community event. The USNS helps promote social, political and economic equality for women and girls spanning to one hundred countries around the world.

 

SIMA's FISCAL SPONSORSHIP:

Fiscal sponsorship is a formal arrangement with a nonprofit organization, such as SIMA, who agrees to sponsor a project that furthers our mission, for the purpose of fundraising through grants and donations. This alternative to starting their own nonprofit allows projects to seek grants and solicit tax-deductible donations for a creative social impact project, documentary or campaign, with the oversight and endorsement of SIMA, the world’s pioneering global social impact media agency.

We have since added four projects: Opera Ritrovata - small portable opera company with a sense of humor—dedicated to promoting unjustly forgotten works of women and minorities as well as fresh reinterpretations of currently canonic pieces, Patient Orator - a project emphasizing the importance of community by bridging the gap between public and private health, between policy groups, civilians, patients and care providers, FIIS - a street action festival that mixtures music, culture, and innovation, seeking to accelerate a cultural transformation for the common good—a festival where ‘TED Talks meets Glastonbury,’ and the power of innovative ideas resonate with the social rhythm of music and arts and, lastly, Full Emotions Arts Program - a project that runs different arts, cultural and education programs that connect artists to audiences. 

 

SIMA RAMA UPDATES:

Because of devoted members of SIMA RAMA, who helped tackle today’s most pressing global issues through social impact cinema and their incredible support, we are now able to offer this service free of charge for all users which began this May!

We are giving audiences a barrier-free entry to experiencing social impact cinema and transforming the RAMA into the SIMA Staff Pick of the Month - streaming one doc/video at no cost to viewers through the SIMA Studios website.

In May we featured Mahdi Feifel's film, A World Not Ours, which is an intimate and humorous portrait of three generations of exile in the refugee camp of Ein el-Helweh, in southern Lebanon. Based on a wealth of personal recordings, family archives, and historical footage, the film is a sensitive and illuminating study of belonging, friendship and family.

For the month of June, we’re streaming Deborah Esquenazi's Southwest of Salem, the story of "The San Antonio Four"the nightmarish persecution of Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh and Anna Vasquez - four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted in San Antonio, Texas.

As always, thank you for your invaluable contributions to helping us scale social impact through visual storytelling worldwide.

With warmth and gratitude from the SIMA Team.

Thank you for your continued support of SIMA! We’re excited to share our most recent updates from each of our programs with you.

SIMA AWARDS UPDATES:

Chosen from 227 submissions spanning 97 countries, on February 7th SIMA announced 13 winners and 8 jury prize recipients in the Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, VR (Virtual Reality) and Creative Impact categories for our 7th Annual Awards. With overarching themes of resilience and transformation, the winning films allow us to bare witness to the immeasurable courage and ripple effects of individuals tackling today’s most pressing global challenges.

On Her Shoulders, SIMA 2019 winner for Best Feature Documentary and Best Director, tells the story of twenty-three-year-old Nadia Murad, a survivor of Isis slavery who is now a beacon of hope and global ambassador of the Yazidi community. In Letter From Masanjia, this year’s winner for Best Editing, we’re taken deep into the realities of China's labour camps through the eyes of a political prisoner determined to expose the unthinkable human rights violations he endured.

Winners in the Virtual Reality (VR) Category include Best Director recipient The Hidden, a piece that critically exposes Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) pursuit of undocumented immigrants in the US. Best VR Experience Winner, Home After War, immerses us into the house and heart of the tragic, real-life story of an Iraqi family that returned to Fallujah after being displaced to find their home and neighbourhood booby trapped by improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

This years Jury Prize winners provide us with unparalleled access to worlds traditionally concealed from public eyes.  TransMilitary, Winner of the SIMA 2019 Ethos Jury Prize, follows four individuals who put their careers and livelihoods on the line by coming out as transgender in their courageous battle to achieve equal rights to serve. The Price of Free, Winner of the SIMA 2019 Lens To Action Jury Prize, follows Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi on secret raids and quests for missing children in the hopes of ending the cycle of child labour and poverty  bringing us face to face with how we as consumers perpetuate the cycle driven by international supply chain demand.

 

SIMA CLASSROOM UPDATES:

Designed as a fast track to global citizenship education, the online streaming platform takes students on a journey from empathy and critical thinking to action. Over 1,825 educators, 42,570 students and 170 institutions globally are already using the platform.  

Selected from the finalists and winners of the annual Social Impact Media Awards, SIMA Classroom is a global, ever-current and expansive streaming service presenting the gold standard of social-issue cinematic storytelling. It provides access to a carefully curated collection of over 165 award-winning short documentaries and Virtual Reality films with learning resources and participatory skill building lessons. The 2019 SIMA AWARDS allowed us to incorporate gems such as The Future of Iraq, Dignity with Flowers and Lives on Hold in Lebanon to bring global issues such as human rights, refugees, and social entrepreneurship to life in the classroom.

In order to keep sharing our purpose and invite millions to join the movement of using impact cinema as a tool for education and social change, we participated in the The Humane Summit and the 2019 Ashoka U Exchange Conference.

The Humane Summit Virtual Speakers Series brought together education professionals from around the world to learn, share, and connect about humane education. We had the opportunity to introduce SIMA Classroom to more than 600 educators that learned how to use social impact film to inspire young leaders.

This month SIMA will host a Virtual Reality Lounge at the 2019 Ashoka U Exchange Beyond Boundaries and Borderswhich gathers 700 social innovators in higher education. We will present the idea of using the power of visual storytelling to take students’ engagement to the next level and invite attendees to experience Virtual Reality Social Impact Storytelling by taking a 10 minute walk inside Beirut’s Shatila camp, the Palestinian refugee camp built in 1949 that today, 70 years later, has evolved into an urban slum. 

 

TRAVELING SERIES UPDATES:

In January, SIMA partner Meta House hosted its annual documentary festival, SIMA CAMBODIA, screening twelve SIMA Collection titles including Aliki Saragas’s STRIKE A ROCK, Leah Warshawski and Todd Soliday’s BIG SONIA, Craig Leeson’s A PLASTIC OCEAN, and Adam Sobel’s THE WORKERS CUP.

SIMA RAMA UPDATES:

SIMA RAMA is our monthly online film club for impact cinema. Each month we bring together a documentary, live podcast, bonus features and unique ways to take collective action.

This December we featured Saeed Taji Farouky & Michael McEvoy’s intimate and humanist film TELL SPRING NOT TO COME THIS YEAR, which follows a unit of the Afghan National Army (ANA) over the course of their first year of fighting in the Helmand province without NATO support. Our impact talk panel guests included both co-directors as well as moderator and Global Education Consultant Jennifer Geist, and MENA and South Asia Director for the Center for Civilians in Conflict, Sahr Muhammedally, who discuss the largely unheard and misrepresented perspective of this band of fighting men on the front line.

In January we began our RAMA Rewind program, allowing members to view films from the archive they may have missed during their streaming month. We began the year with FRAME BY FRAME by Alexandria Bombach & Mo Scarpelli, an account of four Afghan photojournalists face the realities of building a free press in a country left to stand on its own after decades of war and an oppressive Taliban regime. The Impact Talk, a compelling discussion about the pursuit of truth features Amie Ferris-Rotman Journalist and Russia Correspondent for Foreign Policy, and Mariam Alimi, one of Afghanistan's first female photojournalists

For the month of February, we’re streaming Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee & Gayatri Roshan’s ELEMENTAL, the story of three individuals united by their deep connection with nature and driven to confront some of the most pressing ecological challenges of our time. The Impact Talk features director Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director of Bioneers, Joshua Sheridan Fouts, and Katharina Rall, Researcher at Human Rights Watch, who explore the idea of the actual and philosophical rights of nature and the environment.

As always, thank you for your invaluable contributions to helping us scale social impact through visual storytelling worldwide.

With warmth and gratitude from the SIMA Team.





































SHORT VERSION

 

Thank you for your continued support of SIMA! We’re excited to share our most recent updates from each of our programs with you.

 

SIMA AWARDS UPDATES:

 

We are excitedly underway with the SIMA 2019 Awards Cycle, celebrating our 7th year curating the most relevant global impact documentaries from across the globe. This year we received submissions from over 60 countries, with films spotlighting over 90 regions worldwide. The SIMA 2019 Pre-selection Committee has been diligently viewing submissions, helping us to narrow down the best from each respective category. We look forward to identifying our Finalists, which we will announce on January 10, 2019. The Finalists of our 2019 Awards Cycle are sure to be innovative works of film that illuminate the most pressing global challenges from the unique perspectives of those on the front lines to inspire empathy, critical thinking, and action.

 

SIMA CLASSROOM UPDATES:

 

Sima Classroom, our online global education + film platform currently reaches 1,800 educators and 42,000 high-school and college students in 30 countries. It combines a carefully curated collection of over 140 award-winning short documentaries and Virtual Reality films with learning resources and participatory skill building lessons.

 

We recently launched a free and accredited Impact Media Literacy Course for educators in partnership with Participate in response to learning that teachers lacked the confidence to employ media resources in their lessons. The 10 hour online course guides educators from curation and analysis through in-classroom screening and campaign development with students, allowing them to discover and unleash the power of storytelling to educate and inspire through a professional development tool.

 

In order to respond to educators and students interest for innovative thematic curated playlists and participatory lesson plans, we have just incorporated to the platform a new lesson plan specifically designed to bring SDGs to life through a screening campaign in and beyond classroom walls. Co-created with leading experts and paired with our existing SDGs Playlist, The SDGs Advocate: 2030 CHALLENGE is a cutting edge, action-based guide to empower students with inspiration and community organizing tools to learn, advocate, and mobilize around a global issue they care about.

 

Together with the International Film Club (a project of iEarn) we are inviting educators everywhere to take part in the collaborative Virtual Exchange experience where we offer access to two of our award-winning documentaries from the SIMA Classroom collection. The 2018/19 program begins this November with the invitation to watch KAYAYO, THE LIVING SHOPPING BASKET, a documentary about young girls in Ghana, who are forced by their families or who go willingly to work in the city to help increase the household's earnings.  

Thanks to your support we continue providing sponsored access to SIMA Classroom. Since October more than 250 girls from Gathirimu Girls T. High School in Kenya have the opportunity to access quality global citizenship education.



TRAVELING SERIES UPDATES:

 

In July SIMA teamed up with World Merit, a world renowned social enterprise that catalyzes action against social issues, for the SIMA + World Merit Challenge to empower local leaders to bring the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to their own communities through the power of social impact cinema. With over 15 events in 11 countries, the World Merit Challenge brought communities together to view some of SIMA’s most inspiring films, discuss ideas and solutions, and learn how to become effective advocates and community organizers for causes most relevant to them.

 

We announced the winner of the SIMA + World Merit Challenge in August, awarding Chaste Inegbedion for organizing a screening of Mari Bakke Riise’s KAYOYA, THE LIVING SHOPPING BASKETS at the Kirikiri women’s prison in Apapa, Lagos State, Nigeria. Inedgbedion’s screening reached an audience of over 350 people and placed an emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goal of POVERTY. Inedgbedion partnered with various organizations for the event, including Padman Africa, which he notes “represents the foundation for low income girls to break free from their cycle of period poverty.” The event also included a panel discussion with speakers including Tola Oni (Mandela Washington Fellow Alumnus), Bayode Treasures Olawunmi (Guinness World Record Title Holder for ”The Longest Reading Marathon (Read Aloud)”), Ronke Oguntoyinbo (Director, Leadership Empowerment and Resource Network, LEARN), and Nelson Olaonipekun (Founder Citizen's Gavel). The screening aimed to raise awareness regarding the complex issue of women’s poverty, while encouraging viewers to take action through advocating for disadvantaged women.

 

The SIMA + World Merit Challenge allowed individuals across the globe to gain exposure to relevant social issues and insight into world events. Below is a collection of quotes from various participants, expressing the impact of the SIMA Screenings they hosted in their communities.

 

“It helped to increase awareness on impacts of nuclear energy, available renewable energy technologies,and how they can be accessed as well as the limitations to access. The discussion provided an open platform for participants to share with the guest speaker, event host, and other participants.” - Isaac Sserwanga, Organizer for #SIMAKampala

 

“Audiovisual experiences connect a person with a subject better than anything else can. I think it's easy to relate and see yourself in some situations, it's easier to understand, to feel close to the lesson the film is trying to teach.” - Brena Lacerda, Organizer for #SIMABarraMansa

 

“In a word which is dominated by visual media and social media acts as a communication channel, film is an excellent tool for changing hearts and minds and creating awareness.” - Event Organizers for #SIMAKarachi



Some other notable screenings of SIMA Collection films include the October screening of SIMA 2017 360 + VR Finalist REFUGEES by the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) Future of Film Fair. The Eduardo Hernandez & Yori van Gerven directed film offers an immersive glimpse into the reality of the ongoing refugee crisis, following the lives of Turkish migrants in Lesbos, Greece.

 

Also in October was the The Adventure Trade Travel Association (ATTA) screening of A PLASTIC OCEAN in Italy. The film directed by Craig Leeson follows the journey of a team of researchers and scientists as they travel the globe exposing alarming truths about plastic pollution. ATTA also hosted a screening in November of VOICES FROM THE SEA in Brazil. Directed by Álvaro Farías, the film centers on how the Rapa Nui people organize to combat overfishing and pollution on Easter Island. The screening encouraged viewers to consider the far-reaching effects of pollution, while gaining knowledge about the ways global communities adapt to respond to environmental challenges.

 

SIMA RAMA UPDATES:

 

SIMA RAMA is our monthly online film club for impact cinema. Each month we bring together a documentary, live podcast, bonus features and unique ways to take collective action.

 

This September we followed the aftermath of a police massacre in a poverty stricken mining community in South Africa in Aliki Saragas’s STRIKE A ROCK. The film documents the journey of two grandmothers as they rise out of their homes and lead their community in a historic fight against seemingly insurmountable odds for justice and dignity. An intimate story where the personal becomes political, following fighting on-the-ground to the corridors of power, the film presents the grandmothers’ struggle to take on Goliath enemies and make their voices heard. Our panel included filmmaker Aliki Saragas, Palesa Madi of CALS, and former U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards, discussing the film’s themes of women’s rights, labor rights, and industry in the context of the film.

 

In October, we delved into the USA’s Satanic Panic witch-hunt era of the 80s and 90s in Deborah Esquenazi’s SOUTHWEST OF SALEM. After being wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls, four Latina lesbians fight against mythology, homophobia, and prosecutorial fervor in their struggle for exoneration in this critically acclaimed ‘True Crime’ tale. Our panel featured filmmaker Deborah Esquenazi, director of the HRW Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program Graeme Reid, as well as Michael Ware and Anna Vasquez of the Innocence Project.

 

This month, we are streaming Christoffer Guldbrandsen’s STEALING AFRICA, an investigation into the Glencore Mining Corporation’s impact on poverty in Zambia. Despite possessing the third largest copper reserves in the world, 60% of the Zambian population lives on less than $1 a day. Ruschlikon, a wealthy village in Switzerland, receives more tax than it can use thanks to resident Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, whose copper mines in Zambia are generating huge profits. Our panel guests include Keely Badger, Executive Director of the Neda Nobari Foundation, Dr. Fola Adeleke, Head of Research of the Mandela Institute, Dr. Brett Carter, Assistant Professor in the School of International Relations at USC, and Mukasiri Sibanda, Accountant at the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA).

 

As always, thank you for your invaluable contributions to helping us scale social impact through visual storytelling worldwide.

 

With warmth and gratitude from the SIMA Team.

Links:

Thank you for your continued support of SIMA! We’re excited to share our most recent updates from each of our programs with you.

SIMA AWARDS UPDATES:

We are excitedly underway with the SIMA 2019 Awards Cycle, celebrating our 7th year curating the most relevant global impact documentaries from across the globe. This year we received submissions from over 60 countries, with films spotlighting over 90 regions worldwide. The SIMA 2019 Pre-selection Committee has been diligently viewing submissions, helping us to narrow down the best from each respective category. We look forward to identifying our Finalists, which we will announce on January 10, 2019. The Finalists of our 2019 Awards Cycle are sure to be innovative works of film that illuminate the most pressing global challenges from the unique perspectives of those on the front lines to inspire empathy, critical thinking, and action.

SIMA CLASSROOM UPDATES:

Sima Classroom, our online global education + film platform currently reaches 1,800 educators and 42,000 high-school and college students in 30 countries. It combines a carefully curated collection of over 140 award-winning short documentaries and Virtual Reality films with learning resources and participatory skill building lessons.

We recently launched a free and accredited Impact Media Literacy Course for educators in partnership with Participate in response to learning that teachers lacked the confidence to employ media resources in their lessons. The 10 hour online course guides educators from curation and analysis through in-classroom screening and campaign development with students, allowing them to discover and unleash the power of storytelling to educate and inspire through a professional development tool.

In order to respond to educators and students interest for innovative thematic curated playlists and participatory lesson plans, we have just incorporated to the platform a new lesson plan specifically designed to bring SDGs to life through a screening campaign in and beyond classroom walls. Co-created with leading experts and paired with our existing SDGs Playlist, The SDGs Advocate: 2030 CHALLENGE is a cutting edge, action-based guide to empower students with inspiration and community organizing tools to learn, advocate, and mobilize around a global issue they care about.

Together with the International Film Club (a project of iEarn) we are inviting educators everywhere to take part in the collaborative Virtual Exchange experience where we offer access to two of our award-winning documentaries from the SIMA Classroom collection. The 2018/19 program begins this November with the invitation to watch KAYAYO, THE LIVING SHOPPING BASKET, a documentary about young girls in Ghana, who are forced by their families or who go willingly to work in the city to help increase the household's earnings.  

Thanks to your support we continue providing sponsored access to SIMA Classroom. Since October more than 250 girls from Gathirimu Girls T. High School in Kenya have the opportunity to access quality global citizenship education.

TRAVELING SERIES UPDATES:

In July SIMA teamed up with World Merit, a world renowned social enterprise that catalyzes action against social issues, for the SIMA + World Merit Challenge to empower local leaders to bring the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to their own communities through the power of social impact cinema. With over 15 events in 11 countries, the World Merit Challenge brought communities together to view some of SIMA’s most inspiring films, discuss ideas and solutions, and learn how to become effective advocates and community organizers for causes most relevant to them.

We announced the winner of the SIMA + World Merit Challenge in August, awarding Chaste Inegbedion for organizing a screening of Mari Bakke Riise’s KAYOYA, THE LIVING SHOPPING BASKETS at the Kirikiri women’s prison in Apapa, Lagos State, Nigeria. Inedgbedion’s screening reached an audience of over 350 people and placed an emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goal of POVERTY. Inedgbedion partnered with various organizations for the event, including Padman Africa, which he notes “represents the foundation for low income girls to break free from their cycle of period poverty.” The event also included a panel discussion with speakers including Tola Oni (Mandela Washington Fellow Alumnus), Bayode Treasures Olawunmi (Guinness World Record Title Holder for ”The Longest Reading Marathon (Read Aloud)”), Ronke Oguntoyinbo (Director, Leadership Empowerment and Resource Network, LEARN), and Nelson Olaonipekun (Founder Citizen's Gavel). The screening aimed to raise awareness regarding the complex issue of women’s poverty, while encouraging viewers to take action through advocating for disadvantaged women.

The SIMA + World Merit Challenge allowed individuals across the globe to gain exposure to relevant social issues and insight into world events. Below is a collection of quotes from various participants, expressing the impact of the SIMA Screenings they hosted in their communities.

“It helped to increase awareness on impacts of nuclear energy, available renewable energy technologies,and how they can be accessed as well as the limitations to access. The discussion provided an open platform for participants to share with the guest speaker, event host, and other participants.” - Isaac Sserwanga, Organizer for #SIMAKampala

“Audiovisual experiences connect a person with a subject better than anything else can. I think it's easy to relate and see yourself in some situations, it's easier to understand, to feel close to the lesson the film is trying to teach.” - Brena Lacerda, Organizer for #SIMABarraMansa

“In a word which is dominated by visual media and social media acts as a communication channel, film is an excellent tool for changing hearts and minds and creating awareness.” - Event Organizers for #SIMAKarachi

Some other notable screenings of SIMA Collection films include the October screening of SIMA 2017 360 + VR Finalist REFUGEES by the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) Future of Film Fair. The Eduardo Hernandez & Yori van Gerven directed film offers an immersive glimpse into the reality of the ongoing refugee crisis, following the lives of Turkish migrants in Lesbos, Greece.

Also in October was the The Adventure Trade Travel Association (ATTA) screening of A PLASTIC OCEAN in Italy. The film directed by Craig Leeson follows the journey of a team of researchers and scientists as they travel the globe exposing alarming truths about plastic pollution. ATTA also hosted a screening in November of VOICES FROM THE SEA in Brazil. Directed by Álvaro Farías, the film centers on how the Rapa Nui people organize to combat overfishing and pollution on Easter Island. The screening encouraged viewers to consider the far-reaching effects of pollution, while gaining knowledge about the ways global communities adapt to respond to environmental challenges.

SIMA RAMA UPDATES:

SIMA RAMA is our monthly online film club for impact cinema. Each month we bring together a documentary, live podcast, bonus features and unique ways to take collective action.

This September we followed the aftermath of a police massacre in a poverty stricken mining community in South Africa in Aliki Saragas’s STRIKE A ROCK. The film documents the journey of two grandmothers as they rise out of their homes and lead their community in a historic fight against seemingly insurmountable odds for justice and dignity. An intimate story where the personal becomes political, following fighting on-the-ground to the corridors of power, the film presents the grandmothers’ struggle to take on Goliath enemies and make their voices heard. Our panel included filmmaker Aliki Saragas, Palesa Madi of CALS, and former U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards, discussing the film’s themes of women’s rights, labor rights, and industry in the context of the film.

In October, we delved into the USA’s Satanic Panic witch-hunt era of the 80s and 90s in Deborah Esquenazi’s SOUTHWEST OF SALEM. After being wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls, four Latina lesbians fight against mythology, homophobia, and prosecutorial fervor in their struggle for exoneration in this critically acclaimed ‘True Crime’ tale. Our panel featured filmmaker Deborah Esquenazi, director of the HRW Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program Graeme Reid, as well as Michael Ware and Anna Vasquez of the Innocence Project.

This month, we are streaming Christoffer Guldbrandsen’s STEALING AFRICA, an investigation into the Glencore Mining Corporation’s impact on poverty in Zambia. Despite possessing the third largest copper reserves in the world, 60% of the Zambian population lives on less than $1 a day. Ruschlikon, a wealthy village in Switzerland, receives more tax than it can use thanks to resident Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, whose copper mines in Zambia are generating huge profits. Our panel guests include Keely Badger, Executive Director of the Neda Nobari Foundation, Dr. Fola Adeleke, Head of Research of the Mandela Institute, Dr. Brett Carter, Assistant Professor in the School of International Relations at USC, and Mukasiri Sibanda, Accountant at the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA).

As always, thank you for your invaluable contributions to helping us scale social impact through visual storytelling worldwide.

 

With warmth and gratitude from the SIMA Team.

Thank you for your continued support of SIMA! We’re excited to share our most recent updates from each of our programs with you.

SIMA AWARDS UPDATES:

As summer winds to an end, we’re looking forward to the SIMA 2019 Awards Cycle. For its 7th year, SIMA will open for entries on September 7th including short and feature documentaries, impact videos, and VR and 360 experiences.Known for bridging the global gap between filmmakers and their audiences and encouraging thoughtful action, the annual SIMA Awards honor the work of content creators who are pushing the boundaries of social and political storytelling. We look forward to reviewing the impactful submissions!

SIMA CLASSROOM UPDATES:

SIMA Classroom brings social impact education to students around the world with a curated platform of short films and virtual reality experiences. We now serve 177 schools and organizations reaching over 42,000 students in 25 countries.

We recently launched a new program to bring SIMA Classroom to high school and college students in Singapore with social enterprise Air Amber. Their mission is to provide transformational opportunities for youth and kids, heeding a national call for the nurturing of good values, development of character and citizenship education. The partnership kicked off with over 200 students from the Singapore University of Social Studies joining SIMA Classroom. We’re looking forward to connecting with more students in Singapore in the months ahead.

In preparation for the new school year, we have been working with Digital Promise Global and Kiva to introduce two new innovative lesson plans to the SIMA Classroom platform. The lessons make full use of our films as a springboard for learning new skills (like producing a film) and dig deep into global issues (like microfinance). All of our lesson plans are designed to capitalize on the power of social impact film to build understanding and connections.

We have also launched a new community platform for educators teaching with film and digital storytelling to come together. The Participate community is designed for anyone to join and share ideas or resources on integrating film and media into lessons on everything from the Global Goals (SDGs), human rights and more.

Thanks to your support we have been able to continue providing SIMA Classroom for free to at least 90% of participating educators.

TRAVELING SERIES UPDATES:

We continue to work with our network partners to bring SIMA films to communities around the world.

In July we teamed up with World Merit, a world renowned social enterprise that catalyzes action against social issues, for the World Merit Challenge to empower local leaders to bring the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to their own communities through the power of social impact cinema.

We have been overwhelmed by the admirable humanitarian aspirations and organizing efforts of World Merit volunteers. With over 15 events in 11 countries, the World Merit Challenge brought communities together to view some of SIMA’s most inspiring films, discuss ideas and solutions, and learn how to become effective advocates and community organizers for causes most relevant to them. Events took place in diverse locations around the globe, including community centers, schools, and even prisons, and reached over 1,500 people ranging from youth to elders.

SIMA RAMA UPDATES:

SIMA RAMA is our monthly online film club for impact cinema. Each month we bring together a documentary, live podcast, bonus features and unique ways to take collective action.

This June we met refugees from Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp in SALAM NEIGHBOR, a moving film documenting the struggle of 85,000 Syrians attempting to restart their lives inside the camp. For the first time two filmmakers fully embedded themselves in the camp, providing an intimate look at the world’s most dire humanitarian crisis. From meeting Um Ali, a woman struggling to overcome personal loss, to the street-smart, 10-year-old Raouf, whose trauma hides just beneath his ever present smile, they uncovered inspiring stories of individuals rallying to rebuild their lives and those of their neighbors.

In July, THE WELL brought us to the Horn of Africa, a region of the world that is periodically shocked by terrible droughts. We learned how each year to prepare for the coming drought, Borana herders will gather their livestock and walk for days to the dry Oromia Lowlands (South of Ethiopia) to retrieve water from their secular astonishing “singing” wells. With its strong photography and its epic narration, the film followed their life during a whole dry season, showing a unique traditional water management system that regulates what water is available as the property and right of everyone, without any money being exchanged.

This month we are streaming ALBATROSS, a striking meditation on the North Pacific bird demonstrating the tragic impact of man-made pollution on nature, which is simultaneously a deep expression of beauty and love for life on earth. On a remote atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, albatross chicks are dying, bodies filled with plastic. ALBATROSS unflinchingly shows the horror and grief of this tragedy, but ultimately brings us to a deeply felt experience of beauty and love for life on Earth. Stepping outside of traditional documentary film style, ALBATROSS delivers a profound message of reverence and renewal.

Join us for September SIMA RAMA to watch STRIKE A ROCK, a gripping story that follows two women fighting for justice after a massacre by police in Nkaneng, Marikana. In October we will feature SOUTHWEST OF SALEM, a critically acclaimed ‘True Crime’ tale about the Satanic Panic witch hunt era of the 80s and 90s, followed by STEALING AFRICA in November, which investigates the corporate ownership and profiteering of Zambia’s copper mines, which are amongst the largest in the world.

As always, thank you for your invaluable contributions to helping us scale social impact through visual storytelling worldwide.

 With warmth and gratitude from the SIMA Team.

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SIMA Studios

Location: W Hollywood, CA - USA
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SIMA Studios
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