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
Gillian Harrill is a storyteller of many mediums, but she gravitates toward film as a multi-sensory catalyst for change.
A graduate from Cornell University with a BS in Communication, Gillian spends her time learning a little bit about a lot of topics ranging from media studies, prebiotic chemistry, honey bee behavior, and the physics of musical sound. Curiosity and absurdity inform her films, including her 2022 surrealist comedy PICTURE AT AN EXHIBITION, about a world where people give birth to art instead of babies which was selected for the LA Independent Women Film Awards.
In the realm of nonfiction film, she has captured anti-fracking activists, Uber drivers, pole dancers, and indigenous skateboarders in the name of experiencing all the beauty and chaos being human has to offer. Her work with the Wildlife Conservation Society gave her experience in communicating with ranchers in the Rocky Mountains about their relationships with the environment. Her latest work is associate producing a film in Oklahoma about the true story of three Kiowa boys' escape from a boarding school in 1891. She wants to continue storytelling for the rest of her life.
Fernando Rocha is a Cinematographer based out of both the U.S. East Coast and Mexico City. He graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. and supplemented his studies at both the USC School of Cinematic Arts in LA and FAMU in Prague, Czech Republic. He is a 2021 Fulbright Scholar and has a Part 107 Drone License from the FAA.
Asia Singleton is a compelling award-winning filmmaker from Chicago with expertise in every stage of the production process, from development to post-production. Her journalism and documentary filmmaking has received recognition from the Iowa Motion Picture Association, Midwest Broadcast Journalist Association, and Iowa College Media Association.
Her passion for storytelling stems from bringing awareness to social justice issues affecting communities and providing others a space to share dialogue to spark change around the community and the world.
Asia holds an M.A in Communication with a concentration in Digital Media and Storytelling from Loyola University Chicago, a B.A in Media Studies from Loras College in Dubuque, IA, and an A.A in Liberal Arts from Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Previously, she worked as a multimedia intern at WBEZ Curious City and as a production intern at WTTW Chicago Tonight.
When not storytelling, she enjoys traveling, cooking, kayaking, and binge-watching Netflix shows.
Tiffany Westry Womack is a former multimedia journalist turned communications professional based in Asheville, North Carolina. She is a native of Mobile, Alabama, but Birmingham feels like home. Tiffany is an alumna of the University of Montevallo and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her passion for storytelling through video intersects with the areas of Black history and environmentalism, outdoor recreation, and environmental justice. Her first experience in documentary filmmaking came while working as a television news journalist in Birmingham where she was an associate producer on the award-winning, 2-part documentary “Deadly Deception.” The investigative reports uncovered details of toxic air, water, and soil contamination at schools and homes in the North Birmingham area caused by surrounding coal, gas, and pipe fabrication industries. The investigation prompted the EPA to expand testing and eventually establish a Superfund Site.
She believes that by reconnecting people to nature through outdoor recreation, Black history, and storytelling, we create a more accessible entry point to environmental stewardship for the next generation.