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
Fishers throughout East Alabama depend on the mighty Coosa River for food, recreation and a family pastime that goes back generations. But do fishermen and women -- and their families -- have a right to know which fish are safe to consume? Not currently in Alabama, the River State. Coosa Riverkeeper and other advocates are working to give fishers across the entire state that right. Directed by John Haley.
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.
Alabama is a global hotspot for turtle diversity and the perfect playground for turtle scientists. The variety of microhabitats traversing the state create conditions for turtle diversity unmatched anywhere else on the planet. This film explores the “glamorous life of turtles” in Alabama -- from the dramatic alligator snapping turtle to the elusive and almost extinct flattened musk turtle -- and the special people who spend their time protecting this critical species. Directed by Joe Fairbanks.
When Julie Lay and her family began smelling a stench so powerful it reminded her first-responder husband of the smell of dead bodies, she decided she needed to find out more. She found that in Alabama she was far from alone. She left her career in agriculture and food safety to investigate. Waste by-products, including treated human sewage and the waste from poultry processing plants, is being applied directly to farmland throughout the country. Who is regulating this practice and what kind of pollution or toxins could be getting in our food that is growing in the soil mixed with this sludge? Directed by McKinleigh Lair.