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. The program is hosted by Alabama Rivers Alliance each summer.
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.
Details coming soon!
See Wastewater: A Tale of Two Cities and Heal the River at
June 2 - 5
San Diego, CA
See Wastewater: A Tale of Two Cities and 54 Miles to Home at
June 8 - 12
See 54 Miles to Home at
June 23 - 28
See 54 Miles to Home at
PAST FESTIVAL SCREENINGS
BRING SOUTHERN EXPOSURE FILMS TO YOUR COMMUNITY.
Contact Kelly Marshall at [email protected] 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 also stream the Southern Exposure 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
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
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
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
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
Through the personalized mentorship and support provided throughout the fellowship, I truly grew as a filmmaker, producer and storyteller, and was able to explore the beauty of Alabama. The fellowship definitely provided the steppingstones to my current career path as a video producer.
—Kaitlin McMurry, 2018 Fellow
Run by an amazing group of experienced filmmakers & passionate advocates, it's impossible to leave this program without an impressive film for your portfolio and meaningful connections to those fighting for important issues across Alabama. I wish I could be a part of this fellowship every summer!
—Celine Francois, 2021 Fellow
I truly believe that Southern Exposure is a MUST for young, southern documentary filmmakers with interests in the realm of Social and Environmental Justice. Not often do you get an opportunity like this in the South, especially one of such value and importance.
—Jeb Brackner, 2019 Fellow
This opportunity allowed me to grow as a professional in the world of environmental filmmaking & gave me skills + insights on how I can use film & media to be a powerful advocate of the natural world. I gained a better appreciation for the culture, people & nature of the beautiful state of Alabama!
—David Diaz, 2018 Fellow
Michele Forman is the Series Producer for Southern Exposure. She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder / director of Media Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Michele gained her experience as an executive in feature films. As Director of Development at Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, she was responsible for the acquisition and development of new projects. In addition, Forman served as associate producer on Mr. Lee's Academy Award-nominated film 4 Little Girls, a feature-length documentary for HBO about the bombing of the Sixteenth Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. Since then, Forman has been directing and producing documentary projects for film and television, earning an Emmy nomination for Coat of Many Colors (2001). Her feature-length documentary Climb for the Cause: A Breast Cancer Story (2007) documents five women who became activists for women’s health after surviving breast cancer. The film sent Forman up Mt. Kilimanjaro, one of the world’s tallest peaks. She also produced the multiple award-winning documentary Alabama Bound (2017), which explores the legal roller-coaster ride of LGBTQ family rights in the South over the last decade.
Learn more about her by clicking here.