2015 Films

Introduction: Southern Exposure 2015

Alabama’s scenic beauty and stunning array of natural landscapes represent some of the most unique and ecologically diverse places found on earth. But the environmental wealth found within its borders faces the modern-day reality of development interests and industrial pressures, threatening the very resources that make Alabama so special. The Southern Exposure films explore the triumphs and struggles of those working to make a difference and to protect the quality of our air and water, the places we love, and the foundation of our livelihoods.

E. O. Wilson: A Distinguished Alabamian

Native Alabamian Dr. E.O. Wilson is one of the most famous and well-respected biologists in the world. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Dr. Wilson has taught at Harvard for over 50 years and is known as the "father of biodiversity." Learn about his journey from a young boy growing up in Alabama to becoming one of the most renowned scientists in his field and a supporter of the Southern Exposure film fellowship program.

Sharing the Secrets

After millions of years in the making, Alabama has over 4,000 caves that are explored and beloved by spelunkers from all over. With a diverse array of underground plants, animals and other organisms, conserving these massive underground formations and their delicate ecosystems is crucial. Follow some of the most enthusiastic and daring cavers into the breathtaking hidden treasures of northeast Alabama, an area that boasts one of the highest concentrations of caves in the U.S. and supports incredible cave biodiversity. Directed by Drew Perlmutter.

The Storm Downstream

After Dr. Peter DeFranco began noticing that stormwater pollution was streaming from a nearby development into a neighborhood lake, he decided to take action by collecting water samples and documenting the visible environmental effects. This is the story of an individual trying to make a change in his own backyard, and the important role of citizen enforcement in reporting stormwater violations in the absence of action by state and local agencies. Directed by Jesseca Simmons.


After 40 years working in the oyster industry in Bayou la Batre, Alabama, the lasting environmental and economic impacts from the BP oil spill have put one man officially out of business, and have wreaked havoc on coastal communities whose livelihoods have been changed irreparably. Through his story, trace the effects of overfishing and environmental disaster on a once-prized industry in Alabama, as many questions remain for the next generation of commercial fishermen, shrimpers and oystermen. Directed by Sami Chan.

Fishermen's Right to Know

Just below the H. Neely Henry Dam on the Coosa River, Mr. Woods catches catfish to fry and eat. Like many lakes and rivers in Alabama, this spot has a fish consumption advisory, indicating that the fish may contain dangerous levels of mercury and other contaminants. The Alabama Department of Public Health suggests limiting or avoiding consumption of some fish species in certain locations--information found on the agency’s website--but there is no legal requirement to post signs for fishermen. Where does that leave Mr. Woods and others who depend on fishing for sustenance? Directed by Natasha Raheja.

On the Horizon

With an abundance of hot, sunny days, Alabama has an incredible solar resource. Yet most of the state remains in the dark, as neighboring states like Georgia surge ahead with investments in solar energy--and the job creation and environmental benefits that follow. Closer to home, the difference between solar-friendly TVA territory in northern Alabama and the rest of the state limits Alabamians’ access to this fuel-free, cost-effective energy source. Learn about Alabama’s vast solar potential, and the impediments and policy barriers that are holding back its solar success. Directed by Lauren Musgrove.

2015 Preview

Watch a sneak peek of the 2015 Southern Exposure films.

Take Action, Get Involved

The most effective way to spur change and make a difference is by taking action—find out how you can get involved in the pressing issues featured in the Southern Exposure films by clicking on the action alert located below each video.

Special thanks to our partner groups who make the Southern Exposure films possible—click below for more information about these organizations and how you can help to protect Alabama's environment:

Alabama Coastal Heritage TrustAlabama Environmental CouncilAlabama Rivers Alliance Black Warrior RiverkeeperCahaba RiverkeeperCahaba River SocietyChoctawhatchee RiverkeeperCoosa RiverkeeperDog River Clearwater RevivalEnvironmental Education Association of AlabamaFresh Air FamilyFriends of the Locust Fork RiverGASPHurricane CreekkeeperMobile BaykeeperSave Our ShoalsShoals Environmental AllianceSoutheastern Cave ConservancySouthern Environmental Law CenterTennessee RiverkeeperWeeks Bay FoundationWildSouth