SE allowed me opportunities to grow as a filmmaker, create meaningful work, & explore a beautiful state with amazing people and places. It was refreshing & empowering to be a part of a community dedicated to our films' success and the betterment of the planet. Every state needs a program like this!

—Nora Long, 2023 Fellow

The Southern Exposure experience not only sharpened my filmmaking skills but also fueled my continued passion for telling stories with impact and purpose. The amazing environmentalists I met across Alabama quickly became family and friends of mine.

—Asia Singleton, 2022 Fellow

Southern Exposure really is a force of nature -- pun intended -- a whirlwind of hard work but a lot of fun. The program is supported so much by the team they have built, whose knowledge and southern hospitality is unmatched!

—Lily Ahree Siegel, 2023 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

Southern Exposure was an incredible opportunity to build my filmmaking portfolio in a meaningful way. The program allows directors freedom of artistic expression while prompting a community-oriented filmmaking model and involving stakeholders in the decision-making process.

—John Haley, 2020 Fellow

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

Southern Exposure was the best 6 weeks of my life and really solidified that documentary film was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Not to mention I still collaborate with the other three fellows who have become my personal and professional lifelines.

—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

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

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

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

2024 Fellows

Robert Boyd

Robert Boyd (he/him) is a filmmaker, editor, narrator, Fulbright National Geographic Fellow, and lover of small and microscopic life.

Robert strives to create compelling narratives through reporting, writing, and filmmaking. While working as a video engineer intern aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus, he facilitated and filmed live educational interactions between Ocean Exploration Trust staff and on-shore educational groups. He also controlled and monitored ROV-mounted cameras, recording deep sea fauna found in the Gulf of California.

Previously, Robert worked with the National Park Service, using film to highlight the environmental and historical amenities of Manassas National Battlefield Park, Everglades National Park, and Indiana Dunes National Park. He produced a piece exploring zooplankton research at the Smithsonian Institution. Robert also served as a Post-Graduate Fellow with the Investigative Reporting Workshop and PBS Frontline, where he assisted with creating the Peabody-nominated primetime documentary "The Healthcare Divide".

For most of 2022, Robert was on assignment in Barbados for a Fulbright National Geographic Fellowship, where he created a documentary about the Barbados Threadsnake, one of the world’s smallest serpents.

Charles Connell

Charles Connell (he/him) is a documentary filmmaker hailing from Rochester Hills, Michigan. After earning a BS in Advertising Management from Michigan State University, he enrolled at American University in Washington, D.C., where he is currently working toward a Film & Media Arts MFA with a concentration in Environmental and Wildlife Filmmaking.

A lifelong learner and a well-rounded teammate who loves to create, Charles has developed his skills while producing video projects for the National Park Service, having his work showcased on Maryland Public Television, and teaching others along the way.

Combining his love of the outdoors, fascination with the animal kingdom, a knack for storytelling, and an ever-present positive attitude, Charles looks to create fresh and unique documentary films that can educate, entertain, and bring about impactful change.

Olivia Hall

Olivia Hall (she/her) is a proud Alabama native and recent graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. At UAB, Olivia discovered a passion for multimodal storytelling as well as a deeper love and appreciation for the South. Her student documentary short, "Up In Smoke," created with Southern Exposure alum Annie Foreman, was showcased at the 2023 Sidewalk Film Festival. Olivia is particularly passionate about exploring the relationship between individuals and their environment through film, with a focus on the South's natural beauty and charm.

Kaleb Manske and Hannah Schoettmer

Hannah Schoettmer and Kaleb Manske are both recent graduates from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. They are both independently award-winning filmmakers and writers, having screened work in festivals like the Chicago Horror Film Festival, the Milwaukee Film Festival, Pareidolia Video Art Festival, and Panic Fest and they have published writing in venues like The Louisville Review, the Indianapolis Review, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry.

They met in a Documentary Production course, where they teamed up and co-directed a short documentary about P-22, a famous mountain lion who lived in Los Angeles. Over the course of that project, they realized that they challenged each other creatively in ways that bettered their work. They decided to continue making documentaries together as a team, and are excited to bring their skills to Southern Exposure.