Free virtual screening of 2021 Southern Exposure documentary films premieres Sept. 30

Alabama Rivers Alliance
Premiere of the 2021 Southern Exposure films is Setember 30. Photo via Alabama Rivers Alliance

Ready to be inspired? On September 30th at 6:00pm, the Alabama Rivers Alliance and Alabama Public Television (APT) will be holding a free virtual premiere screening featuring the 2021 batch of Southern Exposure Films.

Register HERE

For nearly a decade, Southern Exposure has gathered together filmmakers from around the nation for six weeks in the summer to produce documentaries celebrating  people and places in Alabama.

“We can’t wait to share the 2021 films with everyone across Alabama on Thursday, September 30 during the online world premiere of the Southern Exposure films,” Alabama Rivers Alliance Executive Director Cindy Lowry told Bham Now. “ We were thrilled to be able to welcome four incredibly talented documentary filmmakers to immerse themselves in communities across Alabama while they created their short films which celebrate special people and places in Alabama.”

Southern Exposure Fellows
Southern Exposure Fellows. Photos via Alabama Rivers Alliance

Lowry previewed for us the four films making their debut.

“We’ll explore a once-in-a-generation chance to change the operation of a major dam, and discover a special place at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. We’ll hear stories untold-until-now about the remarkable families along the Selma to Montgomery March route, grapple with the wastewater infrastructure challenges, and meet amazing advocates working to protect their communities. We hope the films will inspire you to get involved to ensure a healthy, inclusive, safe natural world for present and future generations.”

The 2021 Southern Exposure Lineup – a Sneak Peek

Here are the film titles and descriptions:


Alabama Rivers Alliance
Scene for the film Heal the River. Photo from Alabama Rivers Alliance

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 make changes to the operation of the dam through the relicensing process.  Their hope is that these changes can improve downstream conditions and can begin to heal the river.


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?


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. 


Scene from the film Wastewater. Photo via Alabama Rivers Alliance

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.

Save the Date

Don’t forget to register and watch the series on September 30th at 6:00pm.  After the showing, Lowry , Michele Forman from UAB and the Southern Exposure Fellows will do a Q & A.

Be inspired!

Let Bham Now know if you are attending the Southern Exposure premiere. Tag us @Bham Now social media when you attend virtually on September 30th.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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