Güllüdere and Kızılçukur, documentary film

directed by Davide Gambino, in collaboration with Gabriele Gismondi

Güllüdere and Kızılçukur: the Rose Valley and the Red Valley in Cappadocia, a documentary film produced by the Fondazione Benetton, dedicated to the site awarded the International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens 2020-2021.


With: Maria Andaloro, art historian and director of the Tuscia University Mission to Cappadocia.

And, in order of appearance: Crazy Ali (poet, Ortahisar); Aslı Özyar (archaeologist, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul); Fabio Salomoni (sociologist, Koç University, Istanbul); Mutluhan Akin and Ahmet Orhan (geologists, Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University); Ibrahim Sakınam (farmer of Kızılçukur); Murat Ertuğrul Gülyaz (Archaeological Museum of Nevsehir); Paola Pogliani (Tuscia University); Ihsan Senoz (Deputy Mayor of Göreme); Ali Yavuz (agri-tourism promoter of Göreme); Cabir Coşkuner (custodian of the Keslik Monastery, Cemil).


Since 2014, the research that underpins the International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens has involved a study trip to the designated site, followed by further in-depth study and the production of a short documentary film designed to present the place and its problems to a wide audience, not only to specialists in the field. As for the documentaries dedicated to the prize-winning places in 2015, 2018 e 2019, direction of the film on Cappadocia and its Güllüdere and Kızılçukur valleys was entrusted to Davide Gambino, working in collaboration with Gabriele Gismondi.

A film devoted to a place requires its makers to use the short time available to establish an intimate and concrete acquaintance with the many features that characterize any landscape: meetings with the people who live there, exploration of the place itself and the inhabitants’ relationship to it, careful study of social, historical and geographic aspects and analysis of the value and significance of the artistic expressions that reveal the texture and character of all this. After the first reconnaissance, the return to Cappadocia in 2019 – oblivious of the events that 2020 had in store – was devised to extend physical contact with the place and meetings with its inhabitants: from a man who cultivates the land and keeps the keys of a church to others to whom we turned for interpretation of cultural enterprises and administrative responsibilities and another who offered a different perspective on Cappadocia from Istanbul.

From the contours of the vast, arid plateau of Central Cappadocia emerge Güllüdere and Kızılçukur: the Rose Valley and the Red Valley. In the documentary, the story of the two valleys is told by people who are rooted in one way or another in this extraordinary landscape. A landscape in which the dwellings, the churches and the monasteries also speak of settlements cut into the rock by man and of the area’s breathtaking geology, and of how both preserve traces of an ancient culture and its universal values.


Documentary research: Davide Gambino.

Filming: Gabriele Gismondi and Davide Gambino.

Photography, montage, colour grading and sound design: Gabriele Gismondi.


Soundtrack: original music by Pino Petraccia, with Marco Felicioni and Ugo Sala; Golem (Petraccia-Sala) / Natural ney (Felicioni) / Nuovo viaggio (Felicioni) / Porta d’Oriente (Petraccia-Sala). Musicians: Pino Petraccia, kamale ngoni and percussion; Marco Felicioni, flute, ney, guitar, pianoforte, synthesizer; Ugo Sala, electric guitar, synthesizer, percussion arrangements and effects. With the participation of: Danilo Burchielli, electric guitar soloist; Jorge Ro, trombone and flugelhorn. Tracks mixed and mastered at Ugo Sala’s Uto Urten House Productions.


Additional music: Sir Cubworth “Unrequited Love” / Chris Zabriskie “The oceans continue to rise” / Chris Zabriskie “I should have been more human” / Chris Zabriskie “Stories about the world that once was” / Silent Partner “Calm” / Puddle of Infinity “Wind marching for rain” / Roljui “Autostrade” © Creative Commons by 4.0


Translations: Diego Buschmann, Elettra Ercolino, Oona Smyth.

Executive production: Ruggero Di Maggio, Davide Gambino for MAF -Mon Amour Films srl.

Production coordination: Patrizia Boschiero, Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche.


The film was produced in the framework of the activities surrounding the International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens 2020-2021, coordinated by Patrizia Boschiero, Head of Publications for the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, and Luigi Latini, Chair of the Foundation’s Scientific Committee, with the scientific assistance of art historian Maria Andaloro, Director of the Tuscia University Mission to Cappadocia, and Paola Pogliani, the Deputy Director of the Mission.

Research for the Prize activities was undertaken by the Scientific Committee of the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, in particular, Giuseppe Barbera, Francesca Ghersetti, Thilo Folkerts, Anna Lambertini, Monique Mosser, Joan Nogué, José Tito Rojo, Simonetta Zanon.


Various contributions to researching and making the film also came from: Serena Acciai, Aygul Agir, Sinan Akilli, Özgün Arin, Elif Benveniste, Francesco Collotti, Yonca Erkan, Enrico Fontanari, Paolo Girardelli, Aykut Karaman, Aslı Özbay, Hamdiye Sakınam, Ihsan Senoz, Necmettin Temue and Suzan Temur, Hatice Temur Yildiz, Veli Tören, Sevim Tunçdemir, Moira Valeri, Gianni Vinciguerra.