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

2021 Fellows

Céline François

Céline François is a freelance documentary filmmaker with expertise in every stage of the production process from development to editing. Her passion for storytelling through film blossomed at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, where she graduated with a BFA in Documentary. She thrives in the fast-paced production environment and hopes to spend the rest of her career uplifting key voices, with a soft spot for authentic, human stories that showcase our collective humanity and relationship to the world we live in. When she's not working as part of the development team at Xpedition Media in Los Angeles, she's constantly pursuing independent documentary projects. Her latest documentary short about a 94-year-old Glacier National Park ranger is currently navigating the festival circuit and has won numerous awards, including a spot on the shortlist for the GSA BAFTA Student Awards.

Learn more about this fellow and watch the film.

Sarah Franke

Sarah is a filmmaker, currently based in Chicago. She is interested in delving into the complex relationships that exist between humans and their environment, and employing honest storytelling to explore the ethos of people and places. Her 2019 documentary short, BELOW THE FLOOD GATE, premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival and has screened at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, among others, and she is currently producing a narrative feature. Sarah holds a BA in Film and Television Production from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and an MA in Documentary Film from University of the Arts London. In her free time, she likes to shoot film and recreate outdoors.

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Claire Haughey

Claire Haughey is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and photographer originally from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado pursuing stories that address the intersection of environmental justice, income equality, and community. As a graduate student in Media Studies and Documentary Film at The New School, her thesis film (HIDDEN COSTS) highlighted the multigenerational cycles of community sacrifice for corporate profit in Brooklyn's fossil fuel infrastructure. It was showcased at DOC NYC in 2020. She previously co-directed the Tribeca Film Institute IF/Then short documentary, RENGA FOR THE WEST, and interned at America ReFramed. She is dedicated to creating work that is respectful and inclusive of the individuals and communities who share their stories.

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Paulina Sobczak

Paulina Sobczak is a filmmaker, graphic designer, and photographer. Paulina is originally from Poland, where she received her Bachelor's degree in Computer Science with a specialization in Graphic Design and Multimedia. She is currently pursuing M.A. degrees in both Documentary Film and Sociology at the University of Arkansas. Paulina has been working on several film productions as a crew member and creating her own documentary and interactive films, social video campaigns, and promotional videos. Recently, she joined the organization Women in Film & Television, where she serves as a Director of Communication. Through film, Paulina combines two passions for art and social service.

Learn more about this fellow and watch the film.