2022 SIMA Award winners


SIMA, the non-profit impact media agency that celebrates, curates and distributes documentaries and creative media projects that advance positive social change, has announced their 2022 festival winners. Chosen from 40 finalists spanning 25 countries, the SIMA 2022 winners leverage the transformative art of storytelling and the ever-evolving power of media in profound and remarkable ways…


Best Documentary

Director: Sam Soko
Producer: Toni Kamau, Sam Soko
82 min | Kenya

Synopsis: Boniface Mwangi is daring and audacious, and recognized as Kenya’s most provocative photojournalist. But as a father of three young children, these qualities create tremendous turmoil between him and his wife Njeri. When he wants to run for political office, he is forced to choose: country or family?

Best Director & Best Cinematography

Director: Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh
Producer: Sushmit Ghosh & Rintu Thomas
93 min | India

Synopsis – In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.

Best Editing

Director: Ramona S. Diaz
Producers: Ramona S. Diaz, Leah Marino
100 min | Philippines

Synopsis: “A Thousand Cuts” is a feature documentary from award-winning filmmaker Ramona Diaz and FRONTLINE examining Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s escalating attacks on the media, told through the story of his prime target: journalist Maria Ressa. Along with her colleagues, Ressa, a TIME Magazine 2018 Person of the Year and the CEO and co-founder of the independent Philippine news site Rappler, has been at the forefront of chronicling Duterte’s brutal war on drugs, enduring harassment, arrests and a cyber libel conviction that could send her to prison.”

Best Sound Design

Director: Robin Petré
Producer: Malene Flindt Pedersen
78 min | UK

Synopsis – As the peak of winter draws near, a vast European network of marine animal rescue volunteers are bracing themselves for the rough season. Night and day, all year round, they work tirelessly to rescue coastal wildlife from life-threatening elements: Oil. Plastic. Treacherous conditions. But the worst is ahead. Climate change fuels violent weather across the seas, and the annual winter storms are coming at them with an unprecedented roar. Simultaneously, the wild animals are struggling against their human surroundings. The film is a poetic documentary that zooms in on the complex collision between human and nature. We are taken on a disturbing and fascinating journey into the emerging Anthropocene Era, seen from both the human and animal perspective.


Best Documentary

Director: Gulistan Mirzaei, Elizabeth Mirzaei
Producers: Gulistan Mirzaei, Elizabeth Mirzaei, Omar Mullick, Jamil Rezaei, Homayoun Noori
22 minutes | Afghanistan

Synopsis: The story of Shaista, a young man who—newly married to Benazir and living in a camp for displaced persons in Kabul—struggles to balance his dreams of being the first from his tribe to join the Afghan National Army with the responsibilities of starting a family. Even as Shaista’s love for Benazir is palpable, the choices he must make to build a life with her have profound consequences.

Best Director

Director: Alexandra Roca
Producers: Juan Rendon, Alexandra Roca, Katrina Kaufman
25 min | USA and Mexico

Synopsis: Known as “the drug that ends all drugs” Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychedelic, and Eli’s last hope to free himself from an opioid addiction. Desperate, he must travel to Mexico since Ibogaine is not legal in the United States. Will this last option save his life?

Best Cinematography

Director: Anders Hammer
Producers: Charlotte Cook, Anders Hammer
35 min | Hong Kong

Synopsis: Told from within the heart of the Hong Kong protests, “Do Not Split” begins in 2019 as a proposed bill allowing the Chinese government to extradite criminal suspects to mainland China escalated protests throughout Hong Kong. Unfolding across a year, “Do Not Split” captures the determination and sacrifices of the protesters, the government’s backlash, and the passage of the new Beijing-backed national security law.

Best Editing

Director: Orlando von Einsiedel
Producers: Harri Grace, Chloe Leland
40 min | Portugal

Survivor of the forest fire of June 17th joins other community members along with Sofia Carmo and hero fireman Sergio TK at the Victims association. Victor Neves poses for a portrait in his home, revealing his scarred body after 75% of his body was burned in the forest fire of June 2017, in Pedrogao grande, Portugal, March 11, 2020. . (Credit: Lynsey Addario)

Synopsis – A nation devastated by tragic wildfires fuelled by climate change. A population determined to save themselves using the unlikely power of trees. A chance to change the future of us all. FROM DEVIL’S BREATH reveals the story of the devastating 2017 wildfires in Portugal, which claimed 120 lives and darkened the skies across Europe. It is the story of a community of survivors who refuse to be broken, fighting to ensure that this tragedy can never happen again. It is the story of a world-changing discovery, igniting a global revolution in humanity’s fight against climate change.”

Best Sound Design

Director: Jimmy Goldblum
Producers: Harrison Nalevansky, Senain Kheshgi, Dick Gephardt, Matt Gephardt, Matt Weaver, Nick Stern Runtime
20 min | USA, Lebanon

Synopsis: The Syrian architect Mohamad Hafez received a one-way ticket to the United States. Missing his homeland, he decided to create a stand-in, sculpting life-like miniatures of the Damascus cityscape he had left behind. “A Broken House” is a story of love, loss and creating pathways home.



Director: Mak CK
Producers: Shawn Khoong & Sharon Pereira
7 min | Singapore


Synopsis: In Singapore culture, where filial piety is expected, the caregiver is often the forgotten piece of the healthcare puzzle. Our cameras were given a special access pass into a closed-door support session with four caregivers of family members with mental health concerns. This rarely seen footage reveals the challenges, emotional anxieties and stresses caregivers face, as well as the support they receive as they help their loved ones with mental health issues. Caregivers Alliance Limited (CAL) provides this judgement-free support. Find out what these ‘invisible heroes’ speak about when shame and stigma are left at the door.

Creative Activism

Director: Laura Waters Hinson
Producer: Bryan Bello
26 min | USA

Synopsis: An aspiring photojournalist discovers the power of her own voice while struggling to survive homelessness.


(Sponsored by Human Sustainability Project)

Director: Malika Zouhali-Worrall
Producers: Malika Zouhali-Worrall
22 min | USA

Video Visit3_1920

Synopsis: Each week, scores of people visit the Brooklyn Public Library to see their incarcerated loved ones via a free video call. For many, the imperfect, virtual interactions of the so-called video visits are preferable to the traumatizing and humiliating process of traveling to New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail. “Video Visit” tells the story of two mothers and their sons, and the librarians who negotiate daily with the Department of Corrections (and a growing for-profit prison telecoms industry) in an effort to keep the families connected.


(Sponsored by Human Sustainability Project)

Director: Sean Dimond, John Harrison
Producer: Randy Franz, Gary Karns, Sean Dimond
18 min | Philippines

When God Roars 2_1920

Synopsis: When God Roars is the story of a company providing healthy, highly-skilled livelihoods to trafficking survivors in the Philippines by partnering with a real estate photography company in the U.S. Called to work with those exploited and traumatized by human trafficking, Sam and Mindy started Regenesys to create living-wage jobs for survivors. In partnership with Next Door Photos, they built a photo-editing supply chain that provides next-day service and equips their employees with world-class technology skills. This business enables survivors to break free from the trauma of trafficking.



(Sponsored by Black Magic Design)

Director: Sam Feder
Producer: Amy Scholder
100 min | USA

Synopsis – DISCLOSURE is an unprecedented look at transgender depictions in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender. Leading trans thinkers and creatives share their reactions and resistance to some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments. What emerges is a fascinating story of dynamic interplay between trans representation on screen, society’s beliefs, and the reality of trans lives. Reframing familiar scenes and iconic characters in a new light, director Sam Feder invites viewers to confront unexamined assumptions, and shows how what once captured the American imagination now elicit new feelings.

Lens to Action

(Sponsored by Black Magic Design)

Director: Nicholas Bruckman
Producer: Amanda Roddy
97 minutes | USA

Synopsis: When activist Ady Barkan confronts a powerful senator on an airplane their exchange goes viral and sparks a once-in-a-generation movement for healthcare.

Ethos & Stylistic Achievement

(Sponsored by Black Magic Design)

Director: Celina Escher
Producers: Mónica Hernández Rejón, Maria Åkesson, Saúl Callejas
89 min | El Salvador

Synopsis – Fly So Far follows Teodora Vásquez, the spokesperson of the women accused of aggravated homicide and imprisoned in El Salvador for having had a miscarriage or a stillbirth. Teodora’s case has become a symbol of the extremism in the criminalization of abortion and the cruelty against women within the Salvadoran system. But also, of empowerment, resilience and solidarity.


Immersive Impact

Director: Sabrina Poon
Producers: Shawn Khoong & Sharon Pereira
6-9min | Singapore

A QUIET RIPPLE 3_1920 copy_1920

Synopsis: “A Quiet Ripple” is a multi-plot interactive video experience that takes the audience through at least three decision-making moments of a father’s journey as he copes with the aftermath of his son’s suicide attempt. The interactive film invites viewers to step into the shoes of Fredrick, a loving father, whose world changes after discovering the mental state of his seventeen-year-old son, Jason. By prompting viewers to choose between options that closely resemble the daily dilemmas caregivers face, the film is a poignant illustration of how every action, as simple as it may appear, impacts caregivers and those they care for.

Journalistic Achievement & Creative Advocacy

(Sponsored by Human Sustainability Project)

Director: Tamara Shogaolu
Producer: Riyad Alnwili, Michelle Mizner, Collyn Stephens, Marcela Stolzmann USA

Synopsis: Un(re)solved is a major initiative that draws upon more than two years of reporting, thousands of documents and dozens of first-hand interviews. The multiplatform investigation tells the stories of lives cut short, and examines a federal effort to grapple with America’s legacy of racist killings through the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act. The story is told through a web-based interactive experience, serialized podcast, augmented-reality installation and documentary. In addition, the project makes available to the public for the first time a comprehensive interactive list of all those whose cases were re-examined by the Department of Justice.


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