Q&A with Nick Batzias

Sustainability // August 2022 Q&A with Nick Batzias
101 Collins chats with ‘Greenhouse’ Producer, Nick Batzias.

One of the most talked-about films of this years Melbourne International Film Festival line-up is ‘Greenhouse’. The documentary explores Future Food System, a self-sustaining, zero waste, productive house that demonstrates the potential for our homes to provide shelter, produce food and generate energy.

Greenhouse follows the poster boy of zero-waste living, Joost Bakker, and his journey from conception to creation of this 87 square meter pop up home and urban farm located at Birrarung Marr, along with the experience of its inhabited - leading chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett as they attempt to live solely off the food and resources on-site.

We had a chat with one of the producers of ‘Greenhouse’, Nick Batzias of Good Thing Productions, who gave us some insight into the film and the inspiration behind it.

How did Joost come up with the idea for Future Food System?
Joost has been working in this space for over 20 years, looking at ways to reduce negative human impact on the world around us, with a particular focus on reducing waste. Given that modern, industrial food production is one of the most destructive things humans do, it made sense to focus on food production, and how we can localise it, be at one with it, and as a result, have cheaper, more nutritious, and less wasteful food, without having to sacrifice on flavour and variety.

What was it about this project that made you want to make a film about it?
We have always found Joost’s work and ambition inspirational. He has collected such deep and great experience and knowledge in this space, all of which is manifested in the Greenhouse in some way. To be able to capture this and help amplify the messages that abound was a real pleasure and privilege. 

What were the challenges in making ‘Greenhouse’?
Filmmaking, particularly documentary, can face a myriad of challenges, but this little thing called Covid was a doozy. It really hampered construction and, in turn, moving into the house. All this naturally impacted on the film, both in terms of schedule but also costs. That said, we worked so closely with Joost and his team that the challenges were always dealt with cohesively and (largely) some solid gallows humour!

What do you hope comes from releasing ‘Greenhouse’ to a broader audience?
Greenhouse is all about ideas and solutions. It would be wonderful if folks seeing the film are inspired to make some changes towards a more sustainable way of life, whether it’s ideas in the Greenhouse or other initiatives. Coupled with this is the belief that even small changes and shifts can make a real difference.

If there is one thing people should take from this documentary, what would it be?
Believe you can make a difference and then find your way of doing so.

'Greenhouse' was the winner of the Melbourne International Film Festival Audience Award for 2022.

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