Southern Exposure Film Fellowship Program to Continue Under the Leadership of the Alabama Rivers Alliance


October 12, 2017

For More Information, please contact:

Kelly Marshall | | 205.322.6395



 BIRMINGHAM, AL – The Alabama Rivers Alliance is thrilled to announce they will be assuming the role as primary sponsor of the prestigious Southern Exposure Film Fellowship program beginning in January 2018. The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) was the sponsor from 2012 – 2016.

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE is a film fellowship program that is actively raising awareness about Alabama’s incredible natural resources and important environmental issues that impact all of us.  This innovative summer fellowship brings emerging filmmakers from across the country to tell authentic, engaging stories through short documentary films about Alabama’s environment — and the people who cherish it — from the mountains to the coast.

“ARA is proud to be the new home for the Southern Exposure Film Fellowship program, which continues to be extremely important to the environmental community throughout Alabama and beyond,” Cindy Lowry said. “We are excited to lead this tremendously successful program, bringing in emerging filmmakers to Alabama to meet with local community members, elected officials, scientists, business owners, riverkeepers and other conservation groups to create short documentaries that highlight Alabama’s environmental heritage, as well as the threats facing our state.”

SELC’s leadership of the program over the past five years created an impressive library of more than 30 films featuring citizens working to protect the state’s abundance of natural wonders.  ARA is looking forward to continuing that mission with our 60+ partner groups and finding critically important stories to share throughout Alabama.

“Our Alabama partners and citizens of the state have been a cornerstone for the success of Southern Exposure from the very beginning—these compelling films would not have been possible without their time, effort and wealth of knowledge,” said Keith Johnston, managing attorney for SELC’s Birmingham office. “We look forward to the future success of the program under ARA’s leadership and additional opportunities to collaborate within the environmental community.”

As we gear up to host a new class of fellows next summer, ARA will highlight some of the past films in a special Southern Exposure Sampler which will be featured at our 2017 screenings of the national Wild & Scenic Film Festival hosted throughout Alabama. Each of the films selected as part of this sampler represent the impact this program has had in enhancing efforts to protect Alabama’s environment through advocacy campaigns and improved awareness of how each individual can make a difference.

The four films screening as part of the Southern Exposure Sampler at the 10th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival are:

Saving Shepherd Bend (2012) – Take a closer look at the controversial Shepherd Bend coal mine, a massive strip mine proposed on the Black Warrior River northwest of Birmingham, Alabama. Among other threats, the mine would discharge pollution into the river just 850 feet away from a drinking water intake that serves some 200,000 people in the Birmingham area.

Paradise or Profit (2014) – For the first time in Alabama, an outside industry is attempting to strip-mine and process the tar sands of northern Alabama to extract oil-rich bitumen. How will the environmental consequences of mining and processing tar sands potentially impact the community of Colbert County and its concerned citizens in the movement to preserve their water, air, and local agricultural economy?

The Accidental Environmentalist (2014) – John Wathen was just an average guy until coming into contact with toxic chemicals, stumbling upon a video camera, and discovering his passion for protecting the region’s waters. Watch this Alabama native’s transformation into an internationally-recognized environmentalist.

Living Shorelines (2013) – Nearly half of Mobile Bay’s shoreline is armored with bulkheads and concrete seawalls under the assumption that they prevent erosion. Unfortunately, these hard structures are expensive, temporary, and actually cause erosion in adjacent areas, speeding the breakdown of our fragile shores. Property owners on Mobile Bay are increasingly turning to “living shorelines” as a cost-effective solution to beach erosion that also benefits the natural ecosystem and local economy.


Date and Time: Sunday, October 22 Doors open at 1:30 pm and films begin at 2:15 pm.

Location Address:  Red Mountain Theatre Company Cabaret Theatre (301 19th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203)

Ticket Prices: $25 (includes light food, drink tickets, door prize entries, one year membership to the Alabama Rivers Alliance and Alabama Environmental Council)

$15 (includes light food and one year membership to the Alabama Rivers Alliance and Alabama Environmental Council)

$10 for Students (includes light food and one year membership to the Alabama Rivers Alliance and Alabama Environmental Council)

Kids under 12, free

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at (direct link:

For more information about the event, please visit


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