August 30, 2019

By Virginia Pittaro

As you begin to gear up for the upcoming school year, consider these 5 impact films that bring to life global issues such as climate emergency, gender equality, and migration. Selected from the finalists and winners of the annual Social Impact Media Awards, the following films were awarded the gold standard of social-issue cinematic storytelling.

What better way to inspire, educate and activate a new generation of leaders and changemakers than by bringing them face to face with real-life, compelling stories from around the world?

We invite you to share these films with your students, bring the world into your classroom and get them inspired to become active changemakers towards a more equitable and sustainable world.

Out of Plastic

“Out of Plastic” is a documentary film that sets out to explore the obscure depths of plastics in the Mediterranean. The film is set in the Balearic Islands and offers viewers a moment to reflect on the profound presence of plastic in our lives and in our natural environment. The film also offers sweeping landscapes and mystic ocean depths – the point-of-encounter between man and nature – and intends to demonstrate how our overconsumption of single-use plastic has tipped the scales, to the detriment of nature, and ultimately ourselves.

Can’t Hide Me

Women and girls are often put down, silently, subtly. Bound by invisible chains in their homes, on the streets, in schools and public spaces. Always maintaining a low profile, always crushing their dreams. Is it possible for them to fight back? And what happens when they find the courage to do so? Parvati, Mallika, and Heena haven’t met each other but they share more in common than you would think. For they are amongst those women who are taking extraordinary steps to reclaim the spaces that are rightfully theirs, fighting the often invisible barriers that keep women from freedom.

Through the Wall

A documentary short about a family divided by the US/Mexico border. Abril is living undocumented in the United States with her 2-year-old son Julian. Julian’s father was stopped by police for a minor traffic incident and was deported back to Mexico. In order to see each other, Uriel, Abril and Julian must cross difficult terrain to reach the border fence where they spend time together through the wall.

The Sound Barrier

A mosquito-repellent soap that prevents malaria, straw bricks made out of agricultural residues for more sustainable housing, a bio-digester made out of recycled plastic to create bio-gas for rural populations. The film follows 3 innovative social business ideas from students in Africa to take on major challenges faced by their continent. As they compete with hundreds of projects from around the world, one project starts to demonstrate that it just might have what it takes to make it all the way; a step towards international recognition that could mean a symbolic victory for African youth.

From Gangs to Gardens

Organic gardener and vegan chef, DJ CAVEM, is an award-winning international recording artist and activist who uses Hip-Hop culture to inspire young people to connect to the earth by teaching them how to grow food, and cultivate healthy eating habits. Through his lyrics and gardens, DJ CAVEM is planting the seeds of the food movement extending from his hometown of Denver, Colorado to across the globe.

SIMA Classroom is a film portal to the front lines of today’s global issues, an online platform using documentary film to advance global citizenship education and the SDGs.

Virginia Pittaro is Director of Global Partnership at SIMA Studios, an organization created to advance global awareness and social transformation through the power of impact cinema. For more than 10 years, Virginia has been working at the intersection of social entrepreneurship and sustainable development as part of organizations such as Endeavor, the United Nations Development Program, Sistema B and the Ministry of Social Development in Argentina. She is a frequent speaker on sustainability and social entrepreneurship nationally and internationally. Connect with Virginia at

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