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Assistant Professor and Director, Media Studies Program This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Heritage Hall 360E
(205) 934-8560

Research and Teaching Interests: Film history, documentary production and distribution, environmental and health media, cinematic representation of the other, animal theory

Office Hours: Wed 11:00 - 12:15 & Tu/Th 12:15 - 2:00 (and by appointment)


  • B.A., Harvard University, 1993
  • M.A., University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2009

Michele is a documentary filmmaker who got her start as an executive in feature films. As Director of Development at Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, she was responsible for the acquisition and development of new projects, including New Jersey Drive, Girl 6, Sula, The Jackie Robinson Story, and Summer of Sam. In addition, Forman served as associate producer on Mr. Lee's Academy Award-nominated film 4 Little Girls, a feature-length documentary for HBO about the bombing of the Sixteenth Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.

Michele co-founded the UAB Media Studies Program in 2003 with the aim of using new media technologies to connect students with crucial community issues in the Greater Birmingham area. She loves teaching media and film history, as well as using the methods of documentary filmmaking, digital storytelling, oral history, and multimedia-based research to give students the chance to connect what they learn in the classroom with real-world experience.

Though she loves arthouse and non-fiction films, you can often find her checking out the latest heist movie at the multiplex.

  • Recent Courses
    • Media, Culture, and Society
    • Introduction to Film and History
    • History of Documentary Film
    • Ethnographic Filmmaking
  • Select Works
    • Producer, Alabama Bound, feature-length documentary documenting the historic change in same-sex equality, following several families from Alabama as they navigate healthcare access, legal marriage, child custody, and job discrimination from their local communities to the Statehouse and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Seven Film Festival Awards. PBS Reel South 2018.
    • Series Producer, Southern Exposure, short documentary series on environmental issues in the Deep South. Official Selections for the National Wild and Scenic Film Festival. Multiple Film Festival Awards. Streaming on Roku and Amazon. 2012-present.
    • Associate Producer, Associate Producer, 4 Little Girls, feature-length documentary on the 1963 bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. HBO. Nominated for an Academy Award, 1997.
    • Co-Director and Co-Producer, Coat of Many Colors, feature-length documentary about the tension between tradition and innovation in 20th century of Alabama arts. Nominated for an Emmy™, 2000-2001.
    • Director and Producer, Climb for the Cause: A Breast Cancer Story, feature-length documentary about five Alabama women with breast cancer who decide to transform their grueling experience with the disease into something positive for other women. They raise money and awareness about breast cancer by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, one of the world's tallest peaks. Completed 2007. Optioned 2008, Caribou Entertainment.
  • Academic Distinctions & Professional Memberships
    • UAB EMSAP Outstanding Faculty Award, 2016.
    • UAB Honors College Presidential Teaching Award, 2015.
    • Family Equality Council, State & Union: Lesbian Families in the Deep South, featured film project at the annual Chelsea Piers Gala, New York City, May 12, 2014.
    • TEDx Birmingham, selected to serve as TEDx 2014 speaker.
    • National Endowment for the Arts, selected to serve on 2013 and 2014 Media Arts Panels.
    • National Collegiate Honors Council, selected as Director of the Film Master Class Program, 2012 -present.
    • Media Fellowship Curriculum Designer, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC)
    • Representative from higher education on film and media education, AFI—Discovery Channel SilverDocs National Education Steering Committee 2011-2012
    • UAB University Honors Program Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, 2011.
    • UAB University Honors Program Service Award, 2009.
    • Juror for the Radziwill Award, Anthony Radziwill Documentary Fund, 2006.
    • Film selected for Toronto Documentary Forum, 2002.
    • Emmy™ Nomination for Coat of Many Colors, The National Academy of Arts and Sciences, Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Affairs Programming, 2002.
    • Women to watch in the 21st Century, Newsweek Magazine, January 8, 2001.
    • Oscar™ nomination for 4 Little Girls, Academy Award Nomination, Best Feature-Length Documentary, Associate Producer, 1997.
    • Women's Studies Program Committee, 2009- present.
    • University Honors Program Honors Council, 2009 -present.
    • Interdisciplinary Film Minor Committee, 2005-present.