#interview #speleology #RemeronCaves

Mountains can be discovered both on the outside and on the inside! Since the first edition of Transylvania Mountain Festival we have tried to show the audience different perspectives about the mountains. Last year, we were impressed by a special project from Italy: “Light In the Dark – History and Exploration of the Remeron Cave” directed by Claudia Crema in collaboration with Guglielmo Ronaghi and the Prealpine Speleological Group GSP. Since we discovered in her a passionate videographer and speleology practitioner, we are happy to bring her closer to you with this short interview about the documentary, the club and future projects.

Remeron Caves (Lombardia, Italy)

About Claudia Crema

Born and raised in the province of Varese, she has worked in the field of graphics, advertising printing and corporate videos for over 20 years.

In 2016 she combines his passion for speleology and that of videomaking and creates, together with the Prealpine Speleological Group to which she belongs, the documentary on the Remeron cave “Light in the Dark – History and exploration of the Cave Remeron “.

She is currently making a documentary on the military installations of the First World War in Carnia, and will soon begin filming for a historical project on Lombard medieval mines.

Claudia Crema while making “Light In The Dark” – History and Exploration of the Cave Remeron (2018)

The Story Behind The Making of Light In The Dark

[Claudia Crema:] I decided to undertake this project in 2016 together with Guglielmo Ronaghi, President of the Prealpine Speleological Group GSP (of which I belong) and screenwriter of “Light in the Dark”.

The purpose of this documentary is to enhance the Remeron cave, one of the most beautiful and interesting natural cavities in Lombardy, thus giving everyone the opportunity to visit, even if only virtually, the deepest areas of this underground complex, environments that only experienced speleologists are lucky enough to be able to admire.

Light in the Dark” therefore wants to be a dissemination tool because through knowledge it is possible to sensitize the population to the protection of caves and the karst environment. A very delicate and extremely important ecosystem, which if protected guarantees the purity and quality of the groundwater which, after passing through these environments, re-emerges at the springs where they are captured for the needs of entire communities.

We have therefore produced 1000 DVDs to be distributed free of charge to schools, Associations and Bodies and we are organizing evenings and meetings with the public at local Associations and Bodies to spread this important message.

Shooting scene in the Remeron Caves for “Light In The Dark” Documentary

The Main Challenges While Making The Documentary

Claudia Crema:  It took over two years of work to make “Light in the Dark”. During this time we have made about fifteen cave excursions, encountering numerous difficulties. First of all, the transport of the heavy and delicate equipment up to the deepest areas of the Remeron through wells and verticals, required the help of numerous cavers of the group and, during the difficult phases of shooting in extreme environments, we had to protect the equipment from cold, water and mud. Furthermore, due to the difficult environment, freehand machine movements are very limited and lighting large and totally dark halls with only the equipment that can be transported in the cave made this work very difficult.

An amazing moment in the Remeron Cave.

The Main Characters And Featured Guests

Claudia Crema: The cast of “Light in the Dark” is made up of members of the Prealpine Speleological Group who have given their help in a totally voluntary and free way. We also carried out 6 interviews, important historical testimonies and scientific insights by speleologists from different parts of Italy as well as experts in hydrogeology and biospeleology.

A Glimpse on Her Passion For Mountains and Caving

Claudia Crema: I have been practicing caving for 5 years and I discovered this passion by chance. After participating in a guided tour in a cave in my area, simple but at the same time adventurous, I fell in love with these fascinating and mysterious environments.

Going to the cave, for me, means feeling in total harmony with these primordial environments, welcoming but at the same time austere, a wonderful and unique world, as majestic as it is delicate and fragile. A world that hosts a unique ecosystem of its kind, limestone formations and very delicate speleothems that absolutely need to be protected and preserved.

Speleology for me is much more than a sport: it is adventure, exploration, science, love and desire for protection for this underground world, unfortunately or fortunately accessible only to speleologists.

This means that those who practice speleology have the duty to disseminate and raise awareness as many people as possible about the protection and safeguarding of these environments, for the good of all.

A scene from Light In The Dark documentary

[ D.C.] How is mountain culture and caving seen and promoted in Italy?

Claudia Crema: In Italy in recent years the culture of the mountains and all its aspects has been gaining more and more support among public opinion, which identifies this reality as a fundamental aspect on which all mankind depends. Respect for and protection of the mountain environment and caves are topics of constant relevance, and the Italian people are increasingly aware of the need to guarantee the protection of these delicate environments as evidenced by the establishment of numerous parks and nature reserves where the mountain and the caves are protected from pollution and decay. Education for an adequate knowledge and protection of the mountain is realized through the organization of National Days, Meetings, and multiple public events capable of involving and raising awareness of public opinion and especially young people, those who in the future will be called to manage and to safeguard this precious asset of nature.

Claudia Crema / filming.

[ D.C.]  2020 in a few words?

Claudia Crema:  2020 was definitely an absurd year, a Hollywood apocalyptic film made reality.

Fortunately for me I have not lost any loved ones due to Covid 19, the fact remains that the death of thousands of people in the world every day inevitably makes me sad and anguished. To this is added the serious global economic crisis and an uncertain future.

Almost a year after the onset of the pandemic, I have a great desire to return to normal, to what was my pre-covid life. And it is perhaps for this desire to start over that even during 2020 we continued to work on the projects and documentaries that we will finish shortly as well as those that we will start in 2021.

[D.C.] Your impressions about Transylvania Mountain from the distance?

Claudia Crema:  The impression I had of the TMF was certainly very positive. The organizers’ passion and desire to do was tangible and made me feel involved in all respects in this beautiful event. Even after, once the Festival is over, we have not lost contact and this interview is proof that this Festival is not an end in itself but the crowning of a great and strong passion.

[D.C.] What’s coming up next? 

Claudia Crema:  At the beginning of 2021 the project we started in 2019 will be ready: it is a documentary video and a publication on the mapping work of the underground and surface trenches of the First World War that the Prealpine Speleological Group has carried out over the course of 16 years on Mount Freikofel and Pal Grande, in the Carnic Alps on the border with Austria. The title of this documentary will be “Mount Freikofel – Frontier of the First World War”

In the course of 2021 we will also begin filming a new purely archaeological documentary on the Ottava Sfera mine dating back to 1200 which is located in the mountains at the Piani dei Resinelli above Lecco (Lombardy).

Stay tuned for more news are coming soon in 2021 from Claudia Crema and the Gruppo Speleologico Prealpino GSP.

For those interested plese follow the speleology club official pages here:

Claudia Crema: “Light In The Dark” – Exploration of Remeron Caves – an interview prepared by Diana Ciorba

published: 23.03.2021 / Cluj-Napoca, Romania