Climate Story Lab, US-South 2021

Curated by Doc Society and Exposure Labs, in partnership with the New Orleans Film Society and the Southeast Climate and Energy Network, a virtual Climate Story Lab US-South is taking place the week of April 26th, 2021. 

Climate Story Lab is a series of interventions designed by Exposure Labs and Doc Society with a laser focus determination to accelerate effective climate storytelling at the regional level.  The first two iterations were held in New York in 2019 and London in 2020. Hoping to learn from past successes and failures in climate narratives, the Labs showcased selections of new storytelling projects that aimed to reach and engage diverse audiences. 

The Southern region of the United States is one of the most vulnerable areas in the country to the impacts of climate change. The South is also plagued by extractive storytelling practices and viewed through a very narrow lens perpetuated by mainstream media. Women, BIPOC, and low-income communities are often at the forefront of the climate emergency, yet rarely at the forefront of storytelling, both as makers and as protagonists. There is a critical opportunity to support sustainable infrastructure for Southerners to determine who the story is about, who is telling the story, how it’s being told, and how it gets shared.

Selected projects will receive impact mini grants of $2,000 and participating team members will receive stipends for their time. 

Over one week in April, we will bring together
regional creative storytellers with the climate community – scientists, economists, political strategists, faith leaders, cultural curators, journalists, grassroots organizers, and funders – for four days of radical collaboration. Together, this powerful group will:

  • Grow thought and power-building partnerships between climate storytellers, climate organizers, and other stakeholders, that center and build the potential for climate impact
  • Reimagine notions of success beyond the big festival circuit, the major institutional funders, etc
  • Discuss and share solutions around how to disrupt and challenge power in the storytelling landscape by examining and reimagining extractive storytelling and funding models


We are looking for up to 6 creative storytelling projects: We want to work with ambitious teams who are poised to launch into strategic partnerships with the regional climate community. We are looking for projects with the potential to combine powerful storytelling with innovative impact distribution strategies.

  • We will be focusing on stories produced by storytellers from the Southern region of the United States.*  
  • This application is open to anyone. You do not need to be affiliated with a film or environmental organization to apply.
  • We are looking for media projects which are in the early to mid-production stages.
  • These projects could include feature-length films, episodic series, short films, web series, VR projects, podcasts or beyond.
  • We welcome both nonfiction and fiction projects to apply.
  • For each creative project selected, we can support up to 2 team members to attend the virtual lab, which will take place in half days the week of April 26th, 2021. This team might include the Director, Producer, Impact Producer, or Story Protagonist.
  • Selected projects will receive impact mini-grants of $2,000 and participating team members will receive stipends for their time.
  • We will prioritize projects that:
    • Have impact as a critical component of their overall vision and goals
    • Bring quality, vision, and originality (Past bodies of work, brings a unique voice and perspective, clearly articulates vision)
    • Demonstrate an ability to execute the project to completion (reasonable budget, collaborators, planning for production and impact, etc.)
    • Demonstrate a willingness to learn and be an active member of the cohort
    • Demonstrate a connection to community and/or place
    • Tells the story of underrepresented communities

*We are using the US Census Bureau definition of the South, which is comprised of the following states:

To find out more about what kind of projects we are looking for – please have a look at the selection for the Climate Story Lab NYC and Climate Story Lab UK

WHEN?    Week of April 26th, 2021



To preview the application questions, download a pdf of the full application here

DEADLINE:    Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 5pm EST.  All applicants will be informed by February 19 on the status of their application.


This US-South edition is produced by Exposure Labs in solidarity with Doc Society, New Orleans Film Society, and Southeast Climate and Energy Network. If you would like to join us, please contact

Thank you!

This initiative is made possible by generous support from Kendeda Fund, our Leadership Circle, and WILD Foundation and organizational support from Far Star Action Fund and Perspective Fund.