Cave Digger

Oscar-nominated doc on one man's obsession to carve out the ultimate creation by tunneling

Cave Digger Using only hand tools, Ra Paulette sculpts magnificent and intricate cave complexes under New Mexico's arid landscape. His creations are as big as houses, delicate and beautiful, and take 10 years to complete. But his eccentricity, and the odd cave collapse, has led to nearly all his commissions being dropped. And his obsession has cost him dearly. This Oscar-nominated documentary follows him as he sets out to carve his ultimate creation.

Laurel Academy Award Nominee, Best Short Documentary 2014
Laurel WINNER, Best Documentary Short, San Antonio Film Festival, 2013
Laurel WINNER, Best Short, Newburyport Doc Film Festival 2013
Laurel WINNER, Best Short Audience Award, Maui Film Festival 2013
Laurel WINNER, Best Non-European Documentary, The European Independent Film Festival, 2013

Cavedigger (2013) on IMDb

The Producers

Jeffrey Karoff directs commercials and documentaries for non-profit organizations like New York's philanthropic powerhouse, Robin Hood Foundation. Jeffrey honed his skills at UCLA, at American Film Institute's director's program, and was a founder of the director/actor workshop, Paradox Works. He lives in Venice, California. Oscar-nominated CaveDigger is his first documentary.

Making The Film

Jeffrey first saw Ra Paulette's work in 2000 and was determined to bring it to life on film. Until Ra Paulette introduced Karoff to patrons who had commissioned his work, several of whom were unhappy, did the story of the artist versus the patron emerge. The cost of being an outsider, the visionary, became the undercurrent that makes Ra's story not only about an artist, but about a classic very human struggle. Shot over two and a half years in Northern New Mexico, it started as a spec spot featuring Paulette for Canon Cameras, and eventually led to Cave Digger, the story of Ra's singular work and monumental struggles.

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