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

2021 Films

54 Miles to Home

Untold-until-now stories of the three families who risked their lives by opening up their land to provide campsites for the thousands of marchers along the 54 mile route from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. The Halls, Steeles and Gardners share for the first time what their parents and grandparents sacrificed and how their families’ legacies and this historic land can be preserved for generations to come. Directed by Claire Haughey.

Heal the River

Hydropower dams, built decades ago, have dramatically altered river systems across Alabama. Downstream of the Harris Dam on the Tallapoosa River, families and landowners who have lost property and use of the river have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ask for changes to the operation of the dam through the relicensing process. Their hope is that changes can improve downstream conditions and begin to heal the river. Directed by Paulina Sobczak.

The Last Last Hike

83-year-old Nimblewill Nomad is about to become the oldest person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. But he didn’t start at Springer Mountain, Georgia – his trek began on Flagg Mountain in Alabama, the true southern terminus of the Appalachian Mountain Range. Throughout his odyssey, he’s meeting hikers along the way and sharing the magic of Flagg Mountain, where he has been the caretaker for the past three years. With more than two decades and 50,000 miles of hiking experience behind him, will this really be his last last hike? Directed by Céline François.

Wastewater: A Tale of Two Cities

Critical to the environment, public health, and quality of life, wastewater infrastructure in Alabama - and throughout the country - suffers from decades of lack of investment and racial discrimination, and is increasingly threatened by the changing climate. Directed by Sarah Franke.