Heritage Protectors

Heraklion, Greece | Film Feature

Documentary, Foreign Film

Nikki Rose

1 Campaigns | Greece

Green Light

This campaign raised $9,855 for production phase 2. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

48 supporters | followers

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Crete is blessed with fascinating history, amazing natural beauty, and healthy food. There is much to discover. There is also much to protect. Heritage Protectors covers history, music, biodiversity, toxicology, agroecology, young organic farmers, resilience and hope. Local stories of global issues.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

I'm a Greek-American working in Crete since 1997. I formed Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries Educational Network to help support residents working hard to protect their heritage. Over 3,000 students have attended our award-winning programs. Our film continues our work of local stories on global issues.

The Story


Nikki Rose, Producer-Director, Heritage Protectors


The isle of Crete, Greece has a distinctive cultural and culinary heritage spanning over 4000 years. For millennia, the people of Crete have fought invaders to protect their freedom. Sometimes they did not succeed for centuries and the influence of invaders shaped their future.

Today, Crete's cultural and natural resources are rapidly diminishing due to unsustainable agriculture and development - a less obvious corporate invader. Villages-communities have been abandoned and all of their knowledge of sustainable living practices, organic farming and self-sufficiency is lost.

In our documentary, Heritage Protectors, 22 people share their knowledge, initiatives and dreams for a more resilient society. Several principal interviewees help to move the story forward. Several people are globally renowned for their work, while others should be.

I'm a Greek-American journalist, seminar director, and pro chef working in Crete, Greece for 22 years. My work focuses on our interrelationship with food, culture, nature, and health. In 1997, I formed Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries Educational Network “School without Walls,” to help support residents working hard to protect and share their heritage – archaeologists, ecologists, organic farmers, heirloom seed savers, chefs, bakers, beekeepers, mountaineers, musicians, and many others. Over 3,000 students, teachers, researchers and journalists have attended our programs. CCS is an award-winning program, featured in National Geographic and many other media outlets and organizations.

Our documentary, Heritage Protectors, is a continuation of our work to share crucial information with the global audience. We will also create an online platform with updates of heritage protectors in Crete and around the world.

I've thought about making this documentary for 20 years. Six years ago, I finally took the risk when my work was going well, and paid for production myself. Our post-production costs include editing, subtitles, maps, graphics, permits, and many other details. We hope that you will collaborate with us to share important local stories about global issues.

Many thanks and we hope you will join us at our first screening of Heritage Protectors!

Nikki Rose and the Heritage Protectors Crew


Heritage Protectors Interviewees

  • Manolis Kasotakis, Organic Farmer, Archaeological Excavation Foreman
  • Professor Donald Haggis, Archaeologist, Azoria.org, University of North Carolina
  • Dr. Vassilis Gkisakis, Agroecologist, Agroecology Greece, University of the Mediterranean
  • Ioanna Glypti, Professional Guide-Historian
  • Manolis Avramakis, Botanist, University of Crete Natural History Museum
  • Manolis Vardakis, Organic Farmer, Melitakes Agricultural Cooperative
  • Stella Chatzigeorgiou, Organic Farmer, Heirloom Seed Saver, Co-Founder, Melitakes
  • Panayiotis Sainatoudis, Founder, Peliti Heirloom Seed Savers, Greece
  • Pierre Rabhi, Renowned Agroecologist
  • Myrto Deligianni, Biologist, MSC Herbal Medicine
  • Dimitris Mavrakis, Chef-Proprietor, Kritamon Restaurant, Organic Farmer, Forager
  • Ross Daly, Musician, Founder of the Labyrinth Musical Workshop and Museum
  • Stelios Petrakis, Musician, Luthier, Composer
  • Nico Manessis, Greek Wine Writer
  • Dr. Aristidis Tsatsakis, Toxicologist, University of Crete, Editor, Eurotox
  • Dr. Dimitris Petrakis, Pediatrician, Toxicologist
  • Dr. Jerolyn Morisson, Archaeologist and Potter (photo below)
  • And many other young organic farmers, sommeliers, and members of agricultural cooperatives

Nikki Rose is a Greek American professional chef, writer and seminar director living in Crete. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked in fine dining, culinary education, journalism and sustainable tourism projects around the world. Chef Rose has published over 100 articles and contributed to books, academic conferences and mentor programs, TV and radio programs focusing on cuisine, heritage preservation and sustainable tourism. Rose frequently speaks at international conferences and is an adviser for sustainable tourism/cultural-culinary heritage projects around the world. Rose's recent published papers: Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Food and Gastronomy; and Cambridge Scholars, Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change to Tourism. Rose’s book, "Crete: The Roots of the Mediterranean Diet," highlights over 15 years of her work in Crete.

Rose is founder of Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries “School without Walls,” an award-winning program for best practices in Responsible Travel. Rose formed CCS in 1997 to help provide tangible support to residents working on action programs to protect their cultural and natural heritage. Teachers in the CCS Network include resident university professors, archaeologists, botanists, ecologists/mountaineers, professional chefs, fishers, organic farmers-producers, vintners and sustainable tourism/community-based tourism practitioners. CCS organizes a range of dynamic, accredited seminars for academic institutions, health and tourism professionals and has hosted over 3,000 students, teachers, researchers and journalists to date.

Rose/CCS has received numerous awards from National Geographic, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN-World Tourism Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development, World Travel and Tourism Council, and is featured in National Geographic, NPR, Food Tank, WSJ, The New York Times, Lonely Planet, Archaeology Magazine, Australian Gourmet Traveller, France 24, TV New Zealand, and O'Globo Brasil. www.cookingincrete.com

See our documentary trailer for more adventures!


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Editing, Subtitles

Costs $5,000

Editing, Professional Translations, Transcripts, Subtitles, Color Correction

Archival Material, Permits

Costs $2,000

Archival Material, Permits to film Archaeological Sites, Photos and Artifacts (this estimate is low)

Heritage Protectors Production Budget

Costs $5,000

Interviews, B-Roll, film crew expenses, equipment, travel.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Our fantastic, professional Crete-based team knows this landscape and is very sensitive to the issues our interviewees convey:

Our Cinematographer: Yannis Panayiotakis. Yannis has worked on Greek documentaries for over 20 years, primarily with award-winning Director, Giorgos Zervas, who covers music/history and societal issues. Yannis Panayiotakis IMDb

Our Editor: Kostas Dimakis, is currently director at CretaLive news. Formerly at TV Creta news. He's also worked on documentaries and shorts as director, co-producer, editor. Kostas Dimakis on IMDb

They both worked for ERT Greek national TV station.

Production Details:

Format: HD 1080
Cameras: Sony EX3 CineAlta
Drone: DJI Mavic Pro (EU)

Language: Greek, English, French
English version (subtitles) - 1st priority
Greek version – after release.

Current Team