Sharing The Secrets – Drew Perlmutter (2015)

Caves are powerfull places. Our ancestors were inevitably attracted to these geological formations. Prehistoric cave art that has flourished within the last 50 thousand years is an exciting demonstration of our ancestral relationship with these places. The filmmaker Drew Perlmutter brings the story of cave explorers in “TAG” region to the surface. The geology of the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia is quite unique that has lead to many cave formations. In fact, the region is home to the highest concentration of caves in the United States.

Layers that harbor these caves were formed during the Carboniferous (Missisipian and Pennsylvanian to be exact) beginning from 360 million years ago. During the Carboniferous the area was a seabed.

Sharing The Secrets is a documentary that showcases these amazing ecosystems and the importance of conserving them. Cave systems are delicate and sensitive to disturbance. The
Southeastern Cave Conservancy is an organization trying to establish and promote “responsible caving” practices. Damage and contamination risk increases by visitor volume. A fungal disease called the white nose syndrome in bats is a stark reminder for this. The disease was believed to be introduced to north American caves from Europe through the use of contaminated caving gear. In 2012, bat mortality from the disease reached to a staggering 7 million deaths. The fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans colonizes the bat’s skin. Some species have declined >90% within five years of the disease reaching a site.

The Southeastern Cave Conservancy has established a permit system to ensure sustainable visitations to the cave systems.

Best Documentary – 2016 Black Warrior Film Festival
Best Cinematography – 2016 Black Warrior Film Fest
Best Student Doc – 2016 George Lindsay Film Fest
Best Documentary – 2015 Craft Film Fest
Official Selection – 2016 Earth Day Film Fest,
2016 Silver Springs International Film Fest,
2016 Lookout Wild Film Fest

 

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