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Documentary shines a light on ‘secret life’ of Sonoran caves

A group of Sonoran filmmakers and biologists are creating the first known documentary about the state’s caves, and the life inside them.

“Beyond the Desert” shines a light on the flora and fauna inside three Sonoran caves: La Mariana, La Higuera and La Cueva del Tigre.

Director Anna Zayas says the film is a way to draw attention both in Sonora and around the world to the little explored and little known caves that play an important role in the state's desert ecology — particularly for migratory bats. The filmmakers hope their work reveals one of the hidden beauties of the desert, and the relationships people in nearby towns have with those ecosystems.

Two years in the making — the documentary will premier in the Speleology Canyon International Film Festival in July, and later in Sonora.

Kendal Blust was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.