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

2015 Fellows

Natasha Raheja

Natasha is a New York-based filmmaker currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Anthropology at New York University with a Certificate in Culture and Media. Her research interests are in the areas of migration, movement, and belonging. Natasha graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, where she majored in Biology and South Asian Studies. Her award-winning documentary, “Cast in India,” world premiered at the Margaret Mead Film Festival and is currently screening on the festival circuit. Natasha is also a 2015 Flaherty Film Seminar Fellow.

Learn more about this fellow and watch the film.

Jesseca Simmons

Originally from Watsonville, California, Jesseca received a B.A. in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2014. She is currently attending Northwestern’s M.F.A in Documentary Media program. Her films have screened at the Santa Cruz Film Festival, the California State Monterey Bay Film Festival, the Speechless Film Festival, the AUBG International Student Film Festival, and have been used as a tool by the Pajaro Valley Unified School District to promote tolerance and diversity among the high schools.

Learn more about this fellow and watch the film.

Drew Perlmutter

Drew is a third year student at the University of Central Florida and is currently working towards his B.F.A. in Film. A born and raised Floridian, some of Drew's interests include kayaking, snorkeling, and just about everything else water-related. Curious by nature, Drew is often inspired by the exploration of the unknown. His recent infatuation with documentary filmmaking has lead him to exercise his curiosity through this medium. Drew is also an avid film photographer, shooting and developing his own large format film.

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Lauren Musgrove

Lauren is a rising senior studying Telecommunication and Film at the University of Alabama. She grew up in League City, Texas, and has a passion for international travel and communication, nature and visual art. Lauren hopes to work in the film and entertainment production industry, continuing to share voices and spread awareness about our world and the amazing people in it.

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Sami Chen

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sami received her B.A. in Anthropology and Documentary from New York University. Since graduating from NYU in 2012, Sami has worked in New York as a youth educator and non-profit video creator. Additionally, she has worked as a post-production producer for an independent documentary and as a video specialist at NYU. Her short documentary, “More Than a Face in the Crowd,” has screened in festivals and universities nationally. Sami is currently working towards her M.F.A. in Documentary Film at Stanford University.

Learn more about this fellow and watch the film.