How do you tell a compelling story about people in need that doesn’t simplify or stereotype?

I use my How Matters YouTube channel to highlight portrayals of international assistance that inspire more nuanced conversations about the politics of global development and international aid. Frankly though, there’s not enough content to keep that page very active. Very few video-based products show people grappling with the realities of programming on the ground and the stories of grassroots change-makers too often remain overlooked.

The Social Impact Media Awards, organized by DEEDA Productions, seeks to change all that. See below their call for submissions for their juried 2013 awards.

Filmmakers and do-gooders, show us how aid really works!


Social Impact Media Awards 2013 Call for Submissions

The Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA 2013) is an international documentary and video competition honoring members in the independent film and global humanitarian industry. The competition’s objective is to champion and promote the stories of grassroots change-makers that too often remain overlooked, and to provide a springboard for creative and educational media that exemplifies excellence in its potential to inspire change.

What SIMA 2013 is looking for:


SIMA 2013 is looking for original, wise, brave and creative productions that will increase the awareness of viewers to global injustices, to the resilience of humans facing depravation, to the politics of international aid, and to the efforts and agents of change in developing nations. SIMA will celebrate the work of filmmakers that raise important questions and inspire people to reflect on the meaning and potential of help for those in need.

SIMA 2013 is especially interested in:

  1. Everyday stories of individuals or groups living in developing countries
  2. Campaigning films geared to raising awareness and calls to action
  3. Issues relating to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals
  4. Transparency and sustainability in the humanitarian/human rights/global development sector
  5. Examples of help brought by individuals, local heroes, donors, international organizations, governmental agencies and NGOs - both positive and those who have not been successful.


NGOs, foundations, local grassroots organizations, and community activists from all over the world are invited to submit their videos and compete for recognition of the process behind their development work.

SIMA 2013 is looking for videos that share unique insight into “HOW AID WORKS”. Videos should highlight distinctive approaches, creative models, successful tactics, and innovations. Videos capturing effective development approaches and how-to stories can be between 3-15 min long and should emphasize processes used, failures along the way, and impact measures and stories.

Submission and Deadlines:

To submit and upload your film, see:

Submissions open: Dec 4, 2012
Regular deadline: Jan 15, 2013
Late deadline: Feb 15, 2013


Through the championing of selected productions we would like to assist filmmakers and activists in bringing international audiences closer to their work. DOCUMENTARY FILMS will be judged on their creative potential to inspire action and ignite a deeper understanding of how global issues affect the everyday lives of people around the world. EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS will be judged on their potential to communicate and contribute to innovation and best practices in humanitarian aid and development.

SIMA 2013 will honor accomplishments in the following categories: Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Sound Editing. Our judging team consists of media experts and aid professional that will select the best documentaries and educational videos for each award category. Winners of Special Jury Awards will receive cash prizes per each category.

Winners and nominees will receive placement on the SIMA homepage and affiliated media outlets. They will also be used in SIMA’s educational and humanitarian distribution network, which facilitates worldwide screenings of documentary films for community groups and aid organizations to encourage local community activism.


SIMA organizer, DEEDA Productions, is an award winning documentary production company, specializing in the global development sector since 2005. DEEDA’s documentaries and advocacy campaigns engage global communities of young professionals, students, consumers, artists and change-makers through dialogue and socially-conscious initiatives.



This post originally appeared at:


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