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
The other tale of two cities — both plagued by decades of lack of investment and racial discrimination in their wastewater infrastructure — told by community members, advocates, utility operators, and elected officials. As the nation grapples with how to fund long overdue infrastructure needs, this film brings to light the need for urgency and equity in these decisions. Directed by Sarah Franke.
There has never been a more important time for all people to be able to participate in the environmental movement. From the impacts of climate change to the need to spend more time outdoors, our health and our quality of life depends on it. Yet many barriers keep BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) from feeling included in this movement. This film explores the ways in which organizations in Alabama are doing the necessary and critical work to make sure BIPOC are included. Through the lens of community science, individuals share their struggles to be included and organizations share their challenges and successes with creating more inclusive programs and opportunities. Directed by Robin Crane.
After a high-profile bribery scandal led to the convictions of the three powerful conspirators, the community they targeted is left in the dust to find relief from decades of toxic air and soil pollution. Community members in the North Birmingham neighborhoods of Collegeville, Harriman Park and Fairmont tell their personal stories and share their struggles, as they seek a healthier life for the generations of the future. Directed by Kristy Choi.
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.
A mosquito bite decades ago leads Catherine Coleman Flowers on her life’s journey.
The second in the Southern Exposure series, this captivating film brings viewers into the world of Catherine Coleman Flowers, a Lowndes County, Alabama activist who became passionate about the environment when she found out that tropical diseases, like hookworm, were showing up in her community because of sewage treatment problems. Her journey to solve problems at the intersection of poverty, climate change, and politics has taken her from the Alabama Black Belt to Washington, D.C. to Switzerland and back. She shares her special connection to place and invites you in to a day in her life.
Directed by Ellen Esling.