SOUTHERN EXPOSURE is a film fellowship program that is actively raising awareness about Alabama’s incredible natural resources and important environmental issues that impact all of us. This innovative summer fellowship brings emerging filmmakers from across the country to tell authentic, engaging stories through short documentary films about Alabama’s environment — and the people who cherish it — from the mountains to the coast.

Made possible through the support and partnership with environmental and conservation groups across the state, Southern Exposure fellows have the opportunity to create inspiring, captivating films that give viewers a sense of how much Alabama has to offer and the importance of protecting its resources.

As a result of these poignant stories depicting the triumphs and challenges facing the state, numerous films from past fellowship years have been selected for screening in juried film festivals around the country!

Live screenings and online distribution of the films continue to reach a variety of audiences, in Alabama and across the nation, helping Southern Exposure fulfill the mission to spread awareness, appreciation and inspire action on behalf of Alabama’s environment.

To download a pdf of the application, please click here.




Contact Kelly Marshall at [email protected] or 205-322-6395 to learn how you can host a screening of the Southern Exposure films for your organization, university or school group, colleagues, church, or others who may be interested.

You can stream the 2019 films directly on your TV using Roku or Amazon Fire. Click here for more information.

My favorite part of Southern Exposure was meeting so many amazing people. I had a lot of fun making my film and traveling to some of the many beautiful areas of Alabama. I love what Southern Exposure represents and was honored to be a part of it!

—Mindy Keeley, 2014 Fellow

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Having the chance to explore Alabama's natural landscapes, the mentorship and peer-critique process within a diverse group of filmmakers, and the networking opportunities the process brought with it gave me such a positive experience with a group of peers whose friendship and work I truly value.

—Rhonda Chan Soo, 2013 Fellow

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Southern Exposure was an amazing experience – learning about the pressures on the environment, being embraced by Alabama's community of environmental advocates, soaking in beautiful natural treasures, spending a summer with a talented group of filmmakers – I couldn't recommend it more.

—Emily Fraser, 2013 Fellow

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They made it really easy for us to fall in love with Alabama, especially as first timers. I think they also made it really easy for us to become concerned about this beautiful place because they opened our eyes to a very diverse range of pressing environmental needs here.

—Liza Slutskaya, 2016 Fellow and 2018-19 Program Coordinator

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My experience in Alabama in 2014 had a profound impact on me as a filmmaker, but more importantly I linked up with a great posse of friends and collaborators.

—Chris Jones, 2014 Fellow

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Southern Exposure Team

Michele Forman is the Series Producer for Southern Exposure. She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder/director of the Media Studies Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Given her extensive background in film, Michele has played an invaluable role in the Southern Exposure film fellowship while serving as the Series Producer in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019. She started her film career as Director of Development at Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, and has worked on numerous highly acclaimed films. Michele received a B.A. from Harvard University, and an M.A. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Jess Lingle, is a Birmingham-based filmmaker focused on work with non-profit organizations addressing the environment, social justice and community. After graduating from Appalachian State University with a B.A. in Sustainable Development with a minor in Media Studies, Jess returned home to Alabama as a Southern Exposure fellow. During the summer of 2018, she created a film spotlighting the importance of supporting local farmers and agriculture. Since then, she has worked at Camp McDowell, primarily with the McDowell Environmental Center, as an Environmental Instructor and as McDowell's videographer for the MEC and McDowell Service Corps program. Most recently she co-coordinated McDowell's live relief benefit concert, The Camp In, to help sustain camp during this difficult time. She is delighted to return to Southern Exposure as the Assistant Director for the summer of 2020, as she feels these important stories must still be told despite the tricky times.