Every month, Guernica’s multimedia editor, Mary Wang, selects a new documentary as part of our partnership with Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA). These works were produced by filmmakers around the globe, but are united in their commitment to advancing social justice through compelling narratives and captivating imagery.

Marie Wilcox is the last fluent speaker of Wukchumni, one of the roughly 130 endangered Native languages in the United States. According to the Linguistic Society of America, there are roughly 5,000 to 6,000 languages spoken in the world today; a century from now, that number is projected to fall to the lower thousands or even hundreds. This documentary follows Wilcox’ efforts to create a dictionary of Wukchumni as a way to keep her mother tongue alive.

SIMA is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt arts organization. It exists to advance global awareness, social justice, human rights, and education by supporting filmmakers on the frontlines of social change. SIMA started as the first and only international media competition honoring achievements in the creative, human rights, and humanitarian fields. Today, SIMA is the most renowned global curator in the social impact space, serving independent film, academic, and global social justice industries around the world. The organization now consists of several programs, including SIMA Classroom, SIMA RAMA, and SIMAx, which all have the purpose of effecting change through social impact cinema.

The 8th annual Social Impact Media Awards (#SIMA2020) opens for submissions September 9, 2019. They are looking for original, wise, brave, eye-opening and creative productions that capture and illuminate the pulse, the people and the movements behind today’s global issues. Content creators, production companies and impact media funders that demonstrate excellence in advancing the culture of global impact storytelling are invited to submit at SIMAAWARDS.ORG.

Mary Wang

Mary Wang is a senior editor at Guernica. She runs the Miscellaneous Files interview series, in which she talks to writers about their practice through the screenshots, notes, and other digital marginalia found on the writers' devices.

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