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

Category: Energy

Ashes to Ashes

A small community in Northeast Alabama. A mayor whose town sits on the river’s banks. A businessman in the Mobile Bay. All of these communities are impacted by coal ash in Alabama.

Coal Ash, a pollution by-product of burning coal, is impacting communities across Alabama. Billions of tons of ash are stored in unlined pits alongside our rivers and stream causing harmful pollution such as mercury, arsenic, and many other heavy metal to be dumped into our rivers, lakes, and bays where we fish, swim, and drink. This film tells the grim story of coal ash in Alabama and what you can do to call on the electric utility companies to become leaders by cleaning up the pollution they have created.
Directed by Kaitlin McMurry.

Good Housekeeping

Low-income residents pay close to half of their income on energy costs, a significant barrier from moving out of poverty. While Alabama ranks near the bottom nationwide in energy efficiency policy, the emergence of residential programs offering easy, affordable energy efficiency additions is bringing down those costs. Learn about how these energy-saving opportunities are helping to alleviate financial burdens and reduce pollution, and the policy changes needed to create broader access to energy efficiency programs. Directed by Liza Slutskaya.

On the Horizon

With an abundance of hot, sunny days, Alabama has an incredible solar resource. Yet most of the state remains in the dark, as neighboring states like Georgia surge ahead with investments in solar energy--and the job creation and environmental benefits that follow. Closer to home, the difference between solar-friendly TVA territory in northern Alabama and the rest of the state limits Alabamians’ access to this fuel-free, cost-effective energy source. Learn about Alabama’s vast solar potential, and the impediments and policy barriers that are holding back its solar success. Directed by Lauren Musgrove.

Dammed: The Story of Alabama's Rivers

Dams can permanently disturb the structure and function of once free-flowing water bodies, and the damming of the Coosa River has resulted in one of the largest extinction events in U.S. history with 40 species lost forever. How has the damming of Alabama's rivers altered our watersheds, water quality, and water quantity of our state? Directed by Katherine Gorringe.

State of Power

Despite the abundance of sunshine in the Southeast, solar energy is a vastly underutilized resource in Alabama, and the current state of politics makes it difficult for Alabama to catch up with the rest of the country for clean energy solutions. Why is Alabama dependent on traditional energy sources when there are cleaner, more cost-effective alternatives? Will Alabama move forward or stay behind? Directed by Luke Buckley.