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
Chris Jones was raised in the rural northern California town of Placerville and credits his upbringing in the Sierra Nevadas for teaching him the importance of environmental stewardship, wilderness preservation and resource conservation. Since receiving his BA in Film Studies from UC Berkeley in 2012, Chris has worked in film production and is currently a graduate student in Film & Television Production at Loyola Marymount University.
Carlos Estrada graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree focusing on film production, film history, and poetry. His first documentary, “Undocumented,” a short about the impact Alabama law had upon two illegal immigrants, won ‘Best Student Film’ at Sidewalk Film Festival. He currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama as a videographer and editor for the non-profit organization Impact Alabama.
Emily Fraser graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2007 with a dual degree in Environmental Policy and Art/Architecture, and holds an MFA from Stanford University’s Documentary Film program. Before transitioning into filmmaking, Emily worked in the Washington, DC area in both the nonprofit and private sectors, focusing on projects in conservation, resource management and alternative energy. She attended the George Washington University Institute for Documentary Filmmaking in 2010, and has since served as the lead videographer for Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico and as a submission screener for AFI Silverdocs Documentary Film Festival.
Lacey Kennedy graduated from the University Honors Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, with a degree in Molecular Biology and minors in Media Studies, Spanish, and Chemistry. An activist at heart, she is heavily involved in the immigrant rights movement in her home state of Alabama and is interested in using film to illuminate environmental justice issues.
Nicholas Price graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in May 2013, with a dual degree in International Studies & Linguistics and Film Studies. As an undergraduate, he began his documentary work through UAB’s Media Studies program, and later studied with the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Communications Digital Production and Storytelling program in Dubai on a William Jefferson Clinton Scholarship.
Rhonda Chan Soo was born and raised on the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, where she began to develop an affinity for the natural world and a strong desire to protect it. After receiving her BS in Environmental Science from Furman University, Rhonda pursued her Masters Degree in Documentary Film at Wake Forest University.
Originally from Fairfax Station, Virginia, Jessica Pic received her MFA in Documentary Filmmaking at Wake Forest University in 2013. After graduating from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Public Policy and History, she joined the Peace Corps and taught at a rural school in Mongolia. During her Peace Corps experience, Jessica was responsible for developing the curriculum and training the teachers, which taught her how to communicate across cultural and language barriers.
Rebecca Marston received a degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Media Studies in the UAB University Honors Program in 2013, and is interested in creating films about science and the environment.
Spenser Gabin received his BS in Film at Northwestern University in 2013, where he was awarded the Excellence in Cinematography award. Originally from Yardley, Pennsylvania, Spenser studied filmmaking in Prague at the Film and Television Academy of Performing Arts, and his experience includes production work in New York City and Philadelphia.