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
Johanna Obenda was born in Cape Town, South Africa and considers Dallas, Texas "home." A senior at the University of Alabama, she is studying History and French with an emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2013, Johanna co-produced her first short documentary film, “Black Noise,” which explores the lives of three deaf, black individuals in Alabama focusing on the concept of identity.
A native of Ashford, Alabama, Mindy Keeley received her BA in Anthropology at the University of South Florida. Upon graduation, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa developing HIV/AIDS youth education projects in her community. Mindy received an MFA in Documentary Film at Wake Forest University in 2014. Her thesis film, "The Possum Drop," was screened at a variety of film festivals and won second place in the documentary short category at Knoxville’s Film Festival.
Katherine Gorringe is a documentary producer, director, editor, and sound recordist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the current Program Director for the Southern Exposure film fellowship. Katherine has worked on nonfiction productions for The History Channel, independent filmmaker Laurie Collyer, and her films have been featured on the Smithsonian Magazine website, at SXSW, LunaFest, Dam Shorts Film Festival, Oakland International Film Festival, and the Festival International De Programmes Audiovisuels in Biarritz, France, among others. Katherine holds an MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University.
Sebastian Lasaosa Rogers is a filmmaker and cinematographer currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. Originally from Concord, Massachusetts, he graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 2013 with a BA in Film Studies and Anthropology. He has filmed in Panama, Spain, Alaska, and across the U.S. for clients ranging from country singer Dierks Bentley, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and the Show Me 15 campaign fighting to raise the wages of fast food workers. His films aim to support social, environmental and economic justice work.
Hiram Rogers is an Alabama native who graduated from Duke University in 2007 with a degree in Documentary Studies. Currently working as researcher and instructor at the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies, Hiram is passionate about using film and large-format photography as a tool for social justice and activism. Although Hiram works in North Carolina, much of his personal film and photography production is focused on Alabama.
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.