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
Kristine Stolakis is a San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker dedicated to creative, complex, and character-driven storytelling. Her films have played at festivals internationally, including Hot Docs International Film Festival, Frameline, and Anthology Film Archives. Her work has also been featured in news outlets including Mother Jones, Buzzfeed, and NPR affiliate KALW in San Francisco. Kristine holds an MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University, and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from New York University. Kristine proudly hails from central New York and North Carolina.
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.
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.
Zoe Gieringer is a Portland-based filmmaker with an interest in documentaries that raise awareness of social and environmental issues. Her short documentary on gentrification in Berlin, “Make It Trendy,” premiered at the Rheinische Landes Museum in Bonn and was later shown at the OpenEyes Film Festival in Marburg. Zoe received a BA in Film and Television Production from Loyola Marymount University in 2014.
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.
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.