Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (aka the SDGs or the Global Goals) are an international commitment to 17 ambitious goals to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. The Global Goals are a call for action for all countries to end poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, while promoting prosperity, peace and justice. All countries are called upon to achieve each goal by 2030.
Browse SIMA Classroom titles that relate to each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These films provide additional perspectives on either the complex problems at the root of the SDG, or a potential solution and path forward.
SUGGESTED LESSON PLAN: THE SDGs ADVOCATE: 2030 CHALLENGE
Students learn about the SDGs, get inspired and advocate for a global challenge they care about by creating a screening campaign and discussion and adding their voice to the United Nations MY World 2030 Survey. This project will promote collaborative learning to simulate the challenges of leadership, activism and community organizing.
Select Your Films
This documentary is about Bamunu, an 8-year old girl who hasn’t seen her family since she was sent away from home two years ago to work as a Kayayo to support her family. We follow her incessant longing to get away from the harsh markets, her journey back home and what awaits there.
Director: Mari Bakke Riise
A Thousand Suns tells the story of the Gamo Highlands of the African Rift Valley and the unique worldview held by the people of the region. Shot in Ethiopia, New York, and Kenya, the film explores the modern world’s untenable sense of separation from and superiority over nature and how the interconnected worldview of the Gamo people is fundamental in achieving long-term sustainability, both in the region and beyond.
Director: Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee
A glimpse into the everyday life of Juanita, a Mayan traditional doctor, midwife, nurse and activist. Leader of “The Awakening of the Women who Heal,” an organization of midwives in the Orient of Yucatan, Mexico. Juanita has dedicated her life to helping others with her gift for healing. The film follows Juanita as she redefines the meaning of ‘modern’ and ‘traditional’ medicine practices.
Director: Ximena Amescua Cuenca
19-year-old Mukesh Rajak was born into a marginalized community in an impoverished region of rural India. His childhood was marked by discrimination and social exclusion due to his status as a dalit, a member of India’s ‘untouchable’ castes. But a chance opportunity to attend a nonprofit private school would lead Mukesh to find his voice as a community organizer and citizen journalist. Everyday he rides his scooter from village to village documenting negligence and corruption in his region’s school system, convinced that a proper education for every child is the key to transforming his community for the better.
Director: Gregory Walsh
From a small country with a revolutionary history, comes a compelling TV drama with a big vision. This documentary follows an inspiring Nicaraguan women’s rights group, Puntos de Encuentro, as it works to end sexual violence at home, in beds, and in the street through a powerful blend of mainstream media and grassroots organizing.
Director: Liz Miller
Narrated by Robert Redford, Mother of All Rivers illustrates how one person can affect extraordinary change. In a country with growing socioeconomic inequality and human rights violations, Berta Cáceres rallied her indigenous Lenca people, waging a grassroots campaign to successfully pressure the world’s largest dam builder to withdraw from building the Agua Zarca Dam. In a country with some of the highest murder rates in the world, Cáceres’ victory to protect her sacred Rio Gualcarque, brought hope to activists fighting irresponsible development in Honduras and throughout Latin America. But Berta paid the ultimate price for defending the earth – as she was gunned down by four assassins while asleep in her bed.
Director: Will Parrinello
Perma gold mine, Benin. Some dream to find something, others realized there was nothing to be found. Some dig relentlessly hoping to become rich, others died in the process. And a few of them say that here, nobody dies.
Director: Simon Panay
The Mauritania Railway is a 704-kilometer line linking the iron-mining center of Zouerat with the port of Nouadhibou. Atop a hopper car, we journey through vast Saharan landscapes with the people who rely on the train for their survival.
The film portrays the lives of two gay men and one transgender woman who left their home countries because of discrimination and persecution. The film is an emotional personal journey that shows how stigmatisation, persecution and violence have turned the protagonists into human rights activists.
Director: Nicky Newman
When the social movement “Rio Eu Amo Eu Cuido” was created it had a single purpose: make Rio de Janeiro a better place to live in. This documentary shows the movement’s universe, projects and actions that took place with the help of volunteers.
Director: Eduardo Hunter Moura
This 25-minute Global Oneness Project film retrospective asks us to reflect on the state of the world and ourselves, and to listen more closely to what is being asked of us at this time of unprecedented global transformation.
Director: Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee
With an original soundtrack made by Ana Tijoux and narrated by Sylvia Earle, “Voices from the Sea” tells the story about the battle of a remote society to save the sea, and this action becomes an example of courage for the planet.
Director: Álvaro Farías
Big Damage reveals the human face of logging in Papua New Guinea. It is a tale of exploitation and broken promises, where local people are treated as second-rate citizens in their own country by Malaysian logging companies and corrupt politicians.
Director: David Fedele
Esperanza and Teodula are calling for justice in rural Peru, they are part of 300,000 people sterilised without consent more than 18 years ago. The Quipu Project is their phone line that allows the affected across the country to share their shocking testimonies.
Directors: Maria Ignacia Court & Rosemarie Lerner
The terrible earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010 resulted in the displacement of 1.5 million, a death toll of 300,000 human beings, and 10 billion m3 of debris from over 200,000 damaged buildings. What are the causes that enabled these catastrophic consequences? The 16/6 Project was created to support the rehabilitation with community participation of damaged and dangerous neighborhoods, and sought to improve living conditions by promoting the establishment of basic social services prioritized by the community.
Director: Nicolás Cuellar