Support the video project “This is Hasankeyf”


Our work is the result of a one year long research in the village of Hasankeyf, a stunning trove of history that lies along a curve of the Tigris River, in Southeastern Anatolia.

The aim of our film is to describe the unique history of this land through its people’s memories and tales and to understand the connections the inhabitants have with their natural environment. We will attempt to uncover the deep and lasting relationship between man, the river and the lime stone of Hasankeyf. But we will also come across several more complex situations, such as the biunivocal interaction between people and progress or the struggle to imagine a future in a valley that in 2014 will be flooded by the waters of the Ilisu Dam project. Ever present in the film will be the ways in which Hasankeyf’s inhabitants’ perceive and deal with the prospect of losing the way of life that they know.


Hasankeyf is a town situated in South Eastern Turkey and has today a population of 3000. It lies along a curve of the Tigris River, close to the Syrian and Iraqi borders. The first human settlements in the area date back 10.000 years, as the caverns dug in the mountain, which were inhabited until very recently, can testify. Today the town is populated by Arabic and Kurdish families. Throughout these 10.000 years the Tigris has been flowing relentlessly, smoothing down the rock wall on which the town stands. And today Hasankeyf’s elders still remember when the town was one of the thriving trade centers along the river, between Diyarbak?r and Baghdad.

Then, in the 1960s something happened that would forever change the village history. The population was evacuated from the caves by government order and was relocated to emergency housing, built above the centre of the archaeological site.

Regrettably history is set to repeat itself, as the GAP project (Guney Anadolu Projesi – Southern-Anatolia Project) includes the construction of the Ilisu Dam, approximately 50 km from Hasankeyf.

The project is on an incredibly large scale and is progressing fast. When the dam is completed, the town and most of the archaeological site will be submerged, forcing the town’s inhabitants into migration, therefore abandoning their homes and customary life styles.

Meanwhile, about a mile from Hasankeyf, the Housing Development Agency (TOKI), linked to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, is building the New Hasankeyf: a new housing site, disconnected from the historical one and bearing all the trimmings of modern life. Fifty years ago, progress dictated that the population had to abandon the stone caves where they had lived for centuries. Today, progress requires them to move into new buildings, modern and disconnected from the unique ecosystem of the Tigris, now doomed to become a large artificial lake. The loss will be enormous for the people of Hasankeyf and whether there will be any positive outcome of their relocation is yet to be seen.

Director and Cinematographer:

Tommaso Vitali


Francesco Marilungo / Carlotta Grisi / Tommaso Vitali

? If you wonder HOW we got involved in this journey…

LEARN MORE about Hasankeyf’s history and FOLLOW US by visiting

our Facebook group page ,

or visit our webpage at

or feel free to email us at


First and foremost reaching our funding goal will allow us to cover the costs necessary to complete this work. We also love the idea of involving friends and people that we don’t know, but who consider our story so much inspiring that they decide to help to make it happen. Recently we had the opportunity to fund a couple of projects we liked and this made us somehow proud for the small help given.

Lastly, we can’t hide that Hasankeyf has slowly become a sort of magic place for us, hard to describe without having lived in it. The teaser you’ve seen is meant to let you have a foretaste of the atmospheres, but with your help we will be also able to maintain a fervid independence on our thoughts. And this is crucial to us.


The postproduction phase will include expenses such as sound editing and mixing, music rights, dubbing, festival fees and distribution costs amongst many.


Chose the amount and the perks. Then just click on the “Contribute now” button and complete the form, you will need to provide some personal data and a credit card number (Visa, Mastercard, Am. Express). Also the Paypal system will do. It will only take 5 to 10 minutes!

We can accept funds from all over the world, however in case of any problem during payment or questions please do email us at


In return for your support we will ship you some cool rewards, not to forget the help you gave us. No additional shipping costs for you, of course.

But one of them beats them all. A documentary will never be able to describe the smell of the night, the taste of a dish or what your feelings when somebody looks into your eyes to tell you something. So we have decided to let you have the opportunity to come to Hasankeyf and the surrounding region to meet our friends and to discover the roots, the people and the history of this North Mesopotamic area. We will cover every single cost for seven days from Istanbul airport to South east of Turkey and Hasankeyf!! Carlotta’s unique enthusiasm and knowledge of these places will accompany you in this adventure!

Don’t hesitate to ask for further information at


You might want to discover Tommaso’s photographic work in Diyarbakir by visiting his flickr page at

Francesco’s passion for turkish and kurdish literature can introduce you to a vast amount of books through his distinctive reviews at or you can also read his articles about Turkey at

Or you can visit Carlotta’s web page to discover her interest and love for the Kurdish region as well as to know more about her responsible tourism travel project.


Read the [CDCA case study->]

Visit the Kurdistanturco website