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

2018 Fellows

Kaitlin McMurry

Entering her final year in Loyola University Chicago’s Master of Communication program, Kaitlin is pursuing a degree in Digital Media and Storytelling. Previously a news producer and reporter in Florida, Kaitlin is an aspiring documentary filmmaker who aims to produce meaningful and impactful stories about environmental and social justice issues. She is passionate about the environment, loves to be outdoors, and is looking forward to telling important and compelling stories that inspire change.

Learn more about this fellow and watch the film.

Amelia Tyson

Amelia Tyson is a MFA candidate at American University in Washington, DC, where she focuses on wildlife and environmental filmmaking. Her thesis film looks at water conditions in the state of Alabama through the dual lens of grassroots advocacy and education, and the structural and systematic mechanisms preventing the protection and conservation of the state’s abundance resource.

Learn more about this fellow and watch the film.

David Diaz

David was born in Colombia (and still has roots there), but was raised amid the rivers and natural beauty of Florida. He received his B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of Florida and a Masters in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Georgia. After completing ecology-based work throughout the US and internationally, he realized that his passion lies in raising awareness of water issues and creating positive change through the use of filmmaking. He shifted his career focus and completed an intensive Documentary Making course at the New York Film Academy, leading to positions working with various production companies in NY and Oregon. He is continuing to improve his filmmaking skills as he pursues his dream of becoming a Digital Storyteller focused on freshwater resources.

Learn more about this fellow and watch the film.

Ellen Esling

Ellen is a geographer and media artist exploring place, identity, and ecology. She is a Media Arts MFA candidate from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she also completed her Bachelor of Arts, specializing in Radio, Television, and Digital Media, as well as Geography and Environmental Studies. Ellen works across a broad spectrum of mediums including film, stop motion animation, photography, sound art and installation. More recently, she has been committed to storytelling with a focus on rural studies in the United States, and interests in environmental justice and experimental cartography. Her MFA thesis film, Coyote Midwives, is about home birth and reproductive justice in Illinois, and will screen at the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro, Illinois in July, 2018.

Learn more about this fellow and watch the film.

Jess Lingle

Born and raised in Birmingham, Jess Lingle is excited to return home to Alabama after receiving her B.A. in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. She has a passion for films which shed light on issues that most people aren't aware of, but leave viewers feeling informed and inspired. She hopes to find meaningful ways to connect with people and generate energy and sustainable change, through the mediums of art and documentary film. In her future career she hopes to explore topics relating to local food systems, menstruation, and biodiversity and their connections and struggles with sustainability principles

Learn more about this fellow and watch the film.