SHEEP HERO2022-12-13T12:31:20+02:00
SHEEP HERO documentary Top 10 best of IDFA
  • SHEEP HERO awards Ton van Zantvoort
  • SHEEP HERO documentary
  • sheep


Shepherd Stijn has a romantic world view, but his idealism clashes with the harsh reality of having to be a modern entrepreneur. In this poignant and cinematic documentary we come close to Stijn and his family in their quest to keep the tradition of sheep herding alive. Will his struggle pay off or is he forced to go with the flock?

director: Ton van Zantvoort
producer: NEWTON film | seriousFilm
broadcaster: Omroep Brabant | KRO-NCRV
distribution nl: Windmill Film Distribution
world sales: Films Transit International
language: Dutch | English subtitles
81 minutes | 58 minutes
format: UHD 3840 x 2160 | DCP 2K flat, 5.1, 1:85, 25 fps
ISAN: 0000-0004-D799-0000-O-0000-0000-2
categories: Human interest, environment, neoliberalism

SHEEP HERO trailer


How to live in a world that conflicts with your ideals?
A traditional shepherd is forced to innovate in a neo-liberal world that conflicts with his idealistic views.

synopsis (61 words)
Shepherd Stijn has a romantic world view, but his idealism clashes with the harsh reality of having to be a modern entrepreneur. In this poignant and cinematic documentary we come close to Stijn and his family in their quest to keep the tradition of sheep herding alive. Will his struggle pay off or is he forced to go with the flock?

synopsis (113 words)
SHEEP HERO is a 81-minute cinematic documentary about a traditional shepherd who is forced to innovate in a neoliberal world that conflicts with his idealistic views. With no voice-over the  story is told in a cinematic and observational cinema vérité style. The film shows the hardships of herding sheep and the harsh reality of a contemporary entrepreneur trying to keep his business going. Will his struggle pay off or is he forced to go with the flock?

SHEEP HERO got selected by more than 75 (renowned) international film festivals and won a dozen awards already. Ton van Zantvoort did not only direct the film, but also did production, cinematography, editing, grading and more.

synopsis (187 words)

SHEEP HERO tells the story of Shepherd Stijn, an outspoken idealist who may have been born in the wrong place and era. He feels at home on the quiet heathlands tending his sheep, far away from today’s hectic Western society. Stijn and his family fight to maintain their quiet and simple life, but this is proving to be increasingly difficult in a densely populated, modern world where the power of money and mass production outweighs good intentions and slow traditions. The family is heading towards a turning point: they can either continue their downward spiral or throw in the towel.

The documentary starts from the romantic idea of living a mindful life as a sheep herder, but then clearly reveals the frustration of a non-conformist who is only trying to live his own life. The beautiful images and storyline of the documentary clearly depict the constant physical and mental struggle of the protagonist as he tries to strike a balance between his ancient profession and being a modern-day entrepreneur. Stijn has to make a choice, does he keep on fighting the system or is there another option?

Worried look

synopsis IDFA (168 words)
About 10 years ago, filmmaker Ton van Zantvoort got to know Stijn, an idealist with a cheerful, relaxed nature. Stijn is one of the last remaining Dutch shepherds working in the traditional way. We see the shepherd, his sheep and his three loyal dogs crisscrossing nature reserves and farmlands so the herd can graze the land in an eco-friendly way. But nowadays, little remains of the romance and peace that we associate with the centuries-old tradition of sheepherding. Tenders are increasingly hard to acquire—competition from big companies, cheap East European shepherds and smart machinery make Stijn the expensive choice.

With the camera in his wake, the shepherd roams across picturesque Dutch landscapes, talking passionately about his inventive approaches to preserving his traditional occupation. But even as he tries so hard to keep his company afloat, the same camera captures how the incessant stress transforms him into an embittered man with a quick temper. Tragicomic conflicts alternate with scenes of beautiful nature and Stijn’s pleasantly chaotic family life.

synopsis (294 words)

Ten years ago, director Ton van Zantvoort became friends with one of the last traditional shepherds in the Netherlands. He had a perfect life: a loving wife, a flock of sheep, and was living in nature as we all once did and often still long for. Throughout the years the filmmaker noticed how the relaxed, cheerful and passionate shepherd was becoming bitter and increasingly short-tempered. A traditional shepherd losing his hair overnight, because of extreme stress: what a paradox. Was herding sheep not supposed to be the most relaxed and romantic profession in the world? ‘The silent heath is no longer quiet. There is a war going on in the heathlands’ and so the story began.

Stijn’s environment is closing in on him. In an overregulated society his quest for freedom is a struggle almost too hard to bear. His resentment is palpable, but there is also his stubbornness and determination to see it through to the end. He wants to keep his herd and the heathlands healthy and faces many obstacles along the way. Who looks out for the cultural heritage that is sheep herding? And are we able to salvage beauty amongst all our freeways and advancing industrial zones and suburbs. Life will be irrevocably different if the herd goes, as with it the craft will also vanish. Is it too late to save Stijn’s dream?

With no voice-over and very little interviews, this 81-minute cinematic story is told in an observational cinema vérité style. Where Stijn goes, the camera follows and, as in direct cinema, we become unaware of the camera’s presence.

The feature-length documentary shows the hardships of herding sheep in today’s neoliberal world and the harsh reality of a contemporary entrepreneur trying to keep his business going. Anything but a dream job. Will his struggle pay off or is he forced to go with the flock?

SHEEP HERO synopsis

Director’s statement

Many years ago I met Stijn, one of the last traditional shepherds in the Netherlands. Throughout the years, I noticed how the relaxed, cheerful and passionate shepherd became bitter and short-tempered. A traditional shepherd losing his hair overnight, because of extreme stress. How paradoxical. Was herding sheep not supposed to be the most relaxed and romantic profession in the world? ‘The silent heath is no longer quiet. There is a war going on in the heathlands,’ Stijn said to me and so the story began.

We live in a world that is determined by economic laws and this has penetrated deeply into one of the most romantic professions in the world. In many ways I am like Stijn. We both live in a neoliberal world, which is at odds with our ideals. I too chose an insecure, creative existence because of my ideals. In my own way I try to contribute to a better world by making films about these topics. I too am a little entrepreneur who cannot escape innovation. Wouldn’t we all like to go back to nature, to real life, to what it’s all about? But how far should you go to try and realise your ideals? And isn’t it easier to just follow the herd?

I see the world around me as a visual, narrative source. Looking at, wondering about and consciously experiencing what is happening around me is a feeling I am trying to instill in the audience. As a filmmaker I look for themes that may seem to only represent small and everyday issues, but I use them to discuss bigger, universal themes. Not in order to make a didactic statement but to encourage viewers to think about themselves, about the world we live in and about what binds us as people.

My films are about people I meet; about the world we live in and how small it has become. Looking back at my films, many protagonists share the same motivation. They are all trying to live and realise their dreams. People who hold up a confronting mirror to us in our relatively carefree existence. These people suffer consequences of our capitalist economy, which can only be maintained if there is sufficient growth and profit. It is a paradigm of infinite growth on a finite planet. Although a growing number of people realise this, there are only few who actually do something about it. People who go against the current, or strive for their ideals, regardless of the cost. This is what appealed to me when I met Stijn. He made a conscious choice for a different, more sustainable lifestyle. But is such a lifestyle still an option in our current society?

Ton van Zantvoort Filmmaker
Ton van Zantvoort



Ton van Zantvoort (Heesch, 1979) is an acclaimed director, cinematographer and editor, whose films have screened at numerous prestigious A- film festivals. His work has been broadcast all over the world (VPRO, ARTE/ZDF, Al Jazeera) and he has won a dozen awards for best director, best cinematographer and best editor.

name: Ton van Zantvoort
production company: NEWTON film |
other websites: | |
other: IMDB | Facebook | LinkedIn

1999- 2003 Art Academy St. Joost, Audiovisual. diploma obtained with credit
1996- 1999 Grafisch Lyceum Eindhoven, Art-direction. diploma obtained
1991- 1996 HAVO, Maaslandcollege Oss. diploma obtained


Ton van Zantvoort (Heesch, 1979) graduated with credits at the Academy for Visual Arts in Breda in 2003. In 2006, his debut film GRITO de PIEDRA premiered at IDFA and was broadcast by ARTE/ZDF and other stations. His second feature a BLOOMING BUSINESS, a co-production with the Dutch VPRO, was screened at hundred (renowned) international film festivals, broadcast worldwide and won a dozen awards, such as at DOK Leipzig. In 2016 his controversial documentary, the BENNO TAPES, won a Golden NL Award.

As with his acclaimed movie SHEEP HERO (81 minutes, 2018), he was not only responsible for (co-) production and directing for all these above mentioned films, but Ton van Zantvoort also did the cinematography, editing, grading, artwork and more. SHEEP HERO was selected by more than 100 (renowned) international film festival (such as IDFA, Thessaloniki, Vision du Réel, DOK.fest, GZDOC, DOCNYC) won more than 25 awards and 30+ nominations and got a theatrical release in several European countries. Besides longer films van Zantvoort has made dozens of short (art) films, gives master classes at (art) academies in Europe and Canada and was a jury member for several international film festivals and for organisations such as Panasonic International.

In addition to producing his own documentary films, van Zantvoort has also produced documentaries for other directors: DAY is DONE* by acclaimed director Guido Hendrikx (premiered at IDFA), FALLING (EO) by Jef Monté, a feature length film by Luuk Bouwman about the enigmatic artist Dick Verdult (Omroep Brabant) and Honds (KRO-NCRV) by Josefien van Kooten among others.

About the director

Ton van Zantvoort observes with great attention and takes us into the worlds of people on the edge, people who try to survive but are confronted by external forces such as tourism, international commerce and mass consumption. With great humanity, van Zantvoort shows us a different world in which all human life is valuable. His films are characterized by a language of intimate images, a poetic structure and enormous involvement. In his lyrical documentaries with socio-economic overtones he usually resists the temptation of doing interviews. His work is original and testifies to a great effort of will by the maker. The vision of a Western civilized person who holds up a mirror to us. A confronting mirror, but one that invites you to take a long good look.


Filmography as director (selection)
a WORLD to SHAPE, 52 min, director, cinematographer & editor, production Elbe Stevens Films, AVROTROS, Omroep Brabant, 2022
a TRAVELER’S GUIDE, 63 min, director, cinematographer, co-editor, post production, producer, 2022
SHEEP HERO, 81 min, producer, director, cinematographer & editor in co-production with seriousFilm, Omroep Brabant & KRO-NCRV, 2018
THE BENNO TAPES, 54 min, director, cinematographer & editor, produced by Van Osch Films, Omroep Brabant, L1, TV West, 2015
Kees en Mien, 30 min, director, cinematographer & co-editor, produced by Zuidenwind filmproducties, Omroep Brabant, 2011
a BLOOMING BUSINESS, 52 min, producer, director, cinematographer & editor, co-production VPRO, 2009
GRITO de PIEDRA, 55 min, producer, director, cinematographer & editor, 2006
other films: Past as future, 18 min, 2011; Lovely Planet, 8 min, 2009; Carrousel, 7 min, 2010; Another day in Bombay, 10 min, 2007; Isla Totora, 10 min, 2007; Pack, 5 min, 2005; Moja Mbegu, 5 min, 2004; Items, 25 min, 2003, Khamuvillage, 25 min, 2003

Filmography as producer (selection)
The Hole In My Life, 55 min, directed by Xavier van Delft, EO, developped, 2020
Honds, 26 min, directed by Josefien van Kooten, Teledoc Campus, KRO-NCRV, 2020
Dick Verdult, 70 min, directed by Luuk Bouwman, in coproduction with seriousFilm, Omroep Brabant, 2017
FALLING, 25 min, Teledoc Campus, directed by Jef Monté, EO, 2014
Loving Heart, 71 min, directed by Wouter Verhoeven, 2013
Day is Done*, 30 min, directed by Guido Hendrikx, 2010

Director’s awards

Ministry of Culture of the Saratov Region award, Saratov Sufferings Film Fest, Russia, 2020
Grand Prix Feature-Length Competition, 6th Apricot Tree Ujan International Documentary Film Festival, Armenia, 2020
Grand Prix, 15ème Festival International du film Pastoralismes et Grands Espaces, France, 2020
Grand prize of the city of Innsbruck for the best Environmental documentary, INF Innsbruck Nature Festival, Austria, 2020
Christian Berger Cinematography Award, INF Innsbruck Nature Festival, Austria, 2020
President of the Polish Filmmakers Association Award, 18th Włodzimierz Puchalski International Nature Film Festival, Poland, 2020
Best Newcomer, International Green Screen Nature Film Festival, Germany, 2020
Best Documentary Feature Award, FicLaPaz (7th) International Film Festival Bolivia, Bolivia, 2020
Best Cinematography Award, Woods Hole film festival, USA, 2020
Best Documentary Feature, Alternative Film Festival, Canada, 2020
Best Cinematography Award, Indie Film Awards, Japan, 2020
NL Award, best documentary of the year, RPO, The Netherlands, 2020
Best Director, Torino Underground Cinefest, Italy, 2020
Most Original Story mention, Florence Film Awards, Italy, 2020
Special Jury Award, Cinema Vérité, Iran, 2019
Best International Documentary Award, FICMA, Mexico, 2019
Best International Documentary Award and Audience award, NIFF (Nederland), USA, 2019
2nd Best International Feature film, Fiorenzo Serra Film Festival, Italy, 2019
Honourable mention, Cine Eco Seia, Portugal, 2019
Award of Excellence: Film Feature Accolade Global Film Competition, USA, 2019
Best Documentary Film, NYCA New York Cinematography Awards, USA, 2019
Honourable mention, Festiver Festival Barichara, Colombia, 2019
Green Warsaw Award, Millennium Docs Against Gravity, Poland, 2019
Best European Cinematography award, European Cinematography Awards/ ECA, 2019
Distribution award La Trois, Millennium Documentary Festival, Belgium 2019
Best Film and Best Director, NVIFF, The Netherlands, 2019
Top 10 best of IDFA audience award, IDFA, The Netherlands, 2018
Golden NL-Award, the Netherlands, 2016
NL Award, the Netherlands, 2016
Trevignano FilmFest Award, Italy, 2013
Honourable mention, best short, Planet in Focus, Canada, 2011
Jury award, FIFDH, France, 2011
Audience award, The Art of the Document, Poland, 2010
Special jury mention, The Art of the Document, Poland, 2010
Golden Olive, best documentary, Int Festival Montenegro, 2010
Golden Olive, best cinematography, Int Festival Montenegro, 2010
Audience award, Millennium Film Festival, Belgium, 2010
Press award, best film of the FICA festival, Goiás, Brazil, 2010
Best Treatment, Cinema Planeta, Cuernavaca, Mexico, 2010
Healthy Workplaces Award, DOK Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany, 2009
Special mention Open Eyes, Med Film festival, Rome, Italy, 2009
Audience award Mixed Greens, Planet in Focus, Canada, 2009
Honourable mention, Media city 13, Visual Art Festival, 2007
2nd price NFTVM award, for best new Dutch filmmaker, 2006
4th price 1 minute & sound award 2006/ dogs
Nomination for St. Joost Penning/ 2003

Ton van Zantvoort - SHEEP HERO documentary snow

Festival screenings (selection)

National – IDFA International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam (2018, 2010, 2006, 2005); Dutch Film Festival, Utrecht (2014, 2009, 2007, 2005);

Europe – DOK Leipzig, Germany; Visions du Réel, Switzerland, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Greece (2009,2019); DOK.fest, München, Festival dei Popoli, Italy; Documenta Madrid, Spain; Millennium Docs Against Gravity, Poland; Docpoint Helsinki, Finland; Edinburgh International Film Festival, UK; Docville, Belgium; One World Prague, Czech Republic; Dokufest, Kosovo; MakeDox Macedonia; Moldox, Moldavia; European Film Festival Palić, Serbia; Eberswalde Film Festival – Provinziale, Germany; Art of the Document Multimedia Festival, Poland; Split International Festival of New film, Croatia; International Millennium Film Festival, Belgium; International Film Festival for Human Rights, various locations in France; International Audiovisual Festival of Biodiversity, Italy; Kinookus FFF, Croatia; Sunchild Film Festival, Armenia; This Human World, Austria; Jihlava IDFF, Czech Republic; CineEco Portugal;

World – Vancouver International Film Festival, Canada; Planet in Focus, Toronto; Montreal Human Rights Film Festival; Margaret Mead Film Festival & travelling selection, New York, Chicago, Florida, Vermont, Indiana; BAFICI Buenos Aires; DOCSMX Festival Internacional de Cine Documental, Mexico; Animal & Nature Film Festival, Beijing, China; Film Festival Arlington, Virginia, USA; Duke City DocFest, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA; Criterio Ambiental, Costa Rica; Short Film Festival, Moscow; International Documentary Festival, Agadir, Morocco; Green Film Festival, Seoul, Korea; New Zealand International Film Festival; Flahertiana International Documentary Festival Russia; BIFED, Turkey; Festiver Festival Barichara, Colombia,


NEWTON film BV – creative documentary production, founder and Majority Shareholder 2006 – present
DOCfeed, Artistic advisor & volunteer, 2015- 2020
Stichting TEEK president : this foundation supports film makers who try to push the boundaries. (2008- present)
Guest teacher (directing, documentary, cinematography, editing 2006-present) at HKU Media Utrecht, St. Joost Acadamy Breda, Koning Willem 1 College ‘s-Hertogenbosch , Mgr. Frencken College Oosterhout, DOCedu, Sparkle (Eindhoven)
Masterclasses taught at Planet in Focus (Toronto); University of Manitoba, Canada; 3-day master class taught together with Cherry Duyns under the supervision of Jan Eilander at Dziga Nijmegen
Jury member at various (inter)national film festivals, including:
West Lake International Documentary Film Festival, Hangzhou, China, 2020
Millennium International Documentary Film Festival, 2020
International Film Festival Montenegro (with Marija Perovic, among others), 2011
International Film Festival Breda (with Monic Hendrikx & Marc de Cloe), 2010
Filmfront Festival, Gorinchem (with Hans Eijses), 2010
Panasonic International LUMIX award, commissioned by Scholz & Volkmer (with Michael Lum & Fred Flade), 2010-2011

Publications (selection)

Publications, reviews and interviews in all national Dutch newspapers and periodicals, and on news sites, including Trouw, NRC, Volkskrant, AD, Telegraaf and Filmkrant, Brabants Dagblad, BN de stem,, De Groene A’dammer, EVA, KONKAV, virtually all Dutch TV guides, and in international newspapers and film festival publications, including EDN DOX magazine, Modern Times Review, Eye For Film, IDFA daily papers, Dutch Film Festival paper, etcetera.

TV and radio interviews (selection)

VPRO Best of IDFA NPO, Al Jazeera World, Sky Movies (UK), ArmNews (Germany), ET1 (Greece), NPO2 Radar (the Netherlands), Een vandaag (the Netherlands), TV10 (Dutch regional broadcaster), Radio Deutsche Welle (Germany), Radio Klara VRT (Belgium), Omroep Brabant Radio (Dutch regional broadcaster), Dit is de Dag EO (the Netherlands).





Jury report (by John Appel, Oscar van der Kroon et al.), Golden NL-Award, 2016
The makers have cleverly edited the material to achieve a powerful result. Impact and relevance are big. Watching this film is an emotional experience, going from sympathy to pity to annoyance to despair. As a viewer you are affected by all these emotions and you watch the documentary to the end with growing amazement. The film succeeds very well in letting the viewers judge for themselves.

Jukka Takala, Director of European Union -OSHA, Spain
Only 10 films from international filmmakers were nominated for the Film Award and selected from 2,578 documentaries submitted to DOK Leipzig this year. I would like to offer my congratulations to Ton Van Zantvoort, whose film was a worthy winner. He approaches the topic in a highly creative way and highlights the strength of international documentary film-making in 2009.

Jury rapport, NFTVM-award
Ton van Zantvoort shows his ability to use a purposeful approach and cinematic means to achieve a wonderful end result. In difficult circumstances he succeeds in creating well-rounded and mature images with fantastic lighting. His work shows historic awareness and respect for his characters. He cleverly succeeds in capturing an atmosphere and through neat observations he manages to get very close to his characters. Work of this high quality commands admiration and respect.

René Bosma, deputy director St. Joost Academy
His modus operandi seems to follow that of the direct cinema; direct observations with as few outside interventions as possible and control over virtually the entire creation process of the film. However, in Ton’s films you see a preference for stylisation and an emphasis on image and sound design. This makes the work original and its content is indicative of the film maker’s great willpower. In his films Ton determinedly takes a stance, presenting his own vision of reality, the vision of a Westerner who holds a mirror up to society and himself. This mirror shows things that are not easy to watch but still you enjoy looking into it at great length.

Panasonic International
Independent filmmaker is only half the description of what Ton van Zantvoort actually does. His films are typified by the language of intimate images, a poetic structure and enormous involvement. Van Zantvoort observes with great attention and takes us into a world of people who try to survive but are confronted by external powers as tourism, international commerce and mass communication. In his seven years of making films and art, the Dutch born director and cameraman has screened his works at hundreds film festivals around the world, has been awarded more than 25 times and has taught and written on photography and documentary making in various institutions.

Ton van Zantvoort Filmmaker


Trouw (national paper)“Film moment of 2019, not to be missed!”
Volkskrant (national paper) ★★★★a visual ode to a primeval landscape. And if there is ever a prize for the most beautiful drone images, SHEEP HERO should win.”
Nederlands Dagblad (national paper) ★★★★ “SHEEP HERO lets you really sympathize with Stijn.
Indebioscoop ★★★★★ “extreme strong film ”
Filmvandaag ★★★★ ½ Everything is perfect in SHEEP HERO. There is a complete story, interspersed with beautiful images and beautiful characters. None of this would be out of place in a feature film.
De Protagonisten ★★★★ “Truly recommended. The images are beautiful and more sincere than Stijn, you hardly find them anymore.”

International reviews of a BLOOMING BUSINESS

a poetic, cinematic and poignant documentary – IMDB Movie database – USA
the film intrigues and outrages in equal measure – Eye For Film, review 4 out 5 stars – UK
Part poetry, part explosive exposé – Newport International Film Festival – USA
A quietly formidable film – Vancouver International Film Festival -CA
It’s time to wake up and smell the imported roses – Edinburgh Int’l Film Festival – UK
for the outstanding artistic achievement of a strong film – Golden Olive Award

SHEEP HERO director

about Stijn

Shepherd Stijn has chosen to live as a free man, supporting his family in an honest and sustainable way. That is what he thought. But modern neoliberal life is hard, encloses him and grinds him down bit by bit. What is left of his freedom? Is there an ultimate escape?

He is a true idealist at heart. He believes in people looking out for one another, living in close connection with nature and being self-sufficient. However, he finds his pure, uncompromising way of life more and more at odds with the world around him. A world that is driven by money, technology and mass consumption.

A world that favours those who ’go with the flock’ and makes it impossible for Stijn to realize his dream. Stijn may not be a born businessman, but it is mainly this contrast between how the world should be and reality that has made him bitter. Stijn keeps at it, looking for new ways to survive and support his family. Trying to get by without losing yourself, isn’t that what we are all doing?

Director Ton van Zantvoort

Acclaimed Dutch director and cinematographer whose works have screened at numerous prestigious film festivals. His work has been broadcast all over the world and he has won dozens of awards. SHEEP HERO is his first feature length film that will have an official theatrical release in the Netherlands. |

Joost Seelen coach

He focuses on documentaries that challenge and surprise and clearly bear the director’s signature: form and content reinforcing each other. Films that bring the viewer close to the perception of the main characters and in which the special and tense relationship between the individual and the surrounding world plays an important role.


“You can use as many tricks and manipulations as you want, but the truth and honesty touches the heart of your audience the most. I like to play with that. Film must continue to surprise.”


To write is human, to edit is divine. With more than 50 films to his name and even more awards, he is one of the best editors in the Netherlands. Editing makes the movie and Zevenbergen has been editing since 1985; his films have been screened at prominent film festivals around the world ever since.

Jeroen Goeijers sound design SHEEP HERO

For the past 25 years he has composed music and designed sound for over 200 films for the international industry which have been shown and awarded on many International film festivals (a.o. Toronto, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Berlin, Utah, New York).

Roy Bemelmans music Composer SHEEP HERO documentary

“Subtlety and impact don’t have to be mutually exclusive.” In this one phrase, composer Roy Bemelmans summarizes the unique musical signature that has established him at the forefront of today’s new generation of orchestral composers. His work draws parallels to peers and heroes such as James Horner, Max Richter and Mychael Danna.

Annerose Langeveld line producer and sound SHEEP HERO

Annerose has been working with the director for more than ten years and they complement each other perfectly. With great precision and diligence Annerose creates work that touches people and makes them think of the role humans play in this world.

Olivier Nijs Additional sound SHEEP HERO

To truly find the sound, that’s what I listen for. A matter of craft, trial and error, and being in the right place at the right time. And then when I manage to catch that moment, it just makes my day.

Marc Thelosen co-producer SHEEP HERO

Marc is creative producer at the Rotterdam-based production company seriousFilm. He produced many award-winning art films, animations, film essays, and documentaries, reaching a variety of audiences around the world.

crew producer seriousFilm

Koert started his career as a script writer. In 2002 he directed his first long documentary The Flood. His second long documentary Sybold van Ravesteyn: architect for eternity was seriousFilm’s first production in 2005, since then he delivered over 8 short and long documentaries, and has many more to come.

SHEEP HERO Production intern

Iris did a great job as production intern. She assisted on many shooting days, spent a lot of time spotting and making rough cuts and even made a few important images that ended up in the film.

special thanks to
Stijn & Anna
Artuur & Midas
Loek & Margriet
Martin, Tim & Michael

director & cinematographer
Ton van Zantvoort

Annerose Langeveld
Iris van de Rijt
Olivier Nijs

Ton van Zantvoort

editing advice
Joost Seelen
Ralf Verbeek
Gys Zevenbergen
Barbara Hin

Roy Bemelmans

sound design
Jeroen Goeijers

visual effects and grading

grading advice
Ramon de Jong

Rob Maas

production intern
Iris van de Rijt

Jozef Brienen

newton solutions

co-producers seriousFilm
Marc Thelosen
Koert Davidse

co-producer NEWTON film
Ton van Zantvoort

line producer NEWTON film
Annerose Langeveld

commissioning editor Omroep Brabant
Lout Donders

commissioning editor documentaries KRO-NCRV
Jelle Peter de Ruiter

producer documentaries KRO-NCRV
Yolande van der Blij

theatrical distribution
Windmill Film Distribution


Wallie Pollé

world sales
Films Transit International Inc.

sales agent
Jan Rofekamp

thanks to
Family Hilgers, Family van Diepen, Martin blaauwgeers, Michael Colart, Tim van delft, Daphne Hogeweg, Patrick learbuch, Bert Klerks, all shepherds and volunteers, traditional shepherds guild, Marcel van Silfhout, Nyeleni forum , Dutch delegation, Sylvia Kay, TNI/ FIAN, Jildou Friso, Elske Hageraats, Lars Veraart, Guus Geurts, ASR estate Harry Breviers, Marianne Oostveen, Radio 1 Langs de lijn, Renze Klamer, Robbert Meeder, RTL4, Herman den Blijker, De Druiventros, family Mutsaers, Accountant Leermakers, Hein Koenraad, Daisy Lane Tilburg, Sabine Wijsman, Michael Wirken, BNN Rare Jongens, Valerio Zeno, Jelle de Beule, Leo Alkemade, The slaughterhouse, Elementary School Tilburg, municipality Goirle, Streekpark Klein Oisterwijk, Fijnproevers en Smaakbarbaren, Neighborhood committee Aarle Poppel, parlour ‘t Moontje, Wouter Verhoeven, Rutger Hesseling, Etienne van Nuland, Koen van Grinsven, Giel van Schaijk, Meike van Zandvoort, Maureen Prins, Marcel Melchers, Stijn van Eekelen, Family van Zantvoort, Radius College, AKv St Joost,
Noortje van de Sande, Anke van Dijen, Wallie Pollé, Jan Rofekamp and everyone that made the film possible.

This film is produced by NEWTON film and seriousFilm in co-production with Omroep Brabant and KRO-NCRV. This film was supported by the Dutch Cultural Media Fund, the Netherlands Film Fund and Brabantse Beauties.


© 2019 NEWTON film | seriousFilm | Omroep Brabant | KRO-NCRV

please use one of the main stills

SHEEP HERO poster image Stijn Hilgers

alternative stills

SHEEP HERO | Shepherd
SHEEP HERO | documentary | cow
SHEEP HERO | Heathlands

English artwork (Dutch below)

SHEEP HERO documentary flyer A5 large
SHEEP HERO documentary flyer A5 large
SHEEP HERO documentary poster
SHEEP HERO documentary poster close up
SHEEP HERO documentary flyer
SHEEP HERO flyer minimal - square

Dutch artwork

SCHAPENHELD documentaire
SCHAPENHELD documentaire
SCHAPENHELD - flyer vierkant

1. How long did the project take?
10 years ago I became friends with Stijn. From start to finish it took more than 8 years. We shot over the course of two years. Editing took two years, spanning 80 different versions and 2 picture locks. We did many test screenings with difference audiences.

2. Why did you choose this way of storytelling?
I wanted to tell the story in an observational cinema vérité style, without a voice-over and with very little interviews that would explicitly emphasize the point I am making. We are very close to Stijn and as in direct cinema we become unaware of the camera’s presence. I didn’t want to tell the story too obviously, but rather give the audience the sense that they are discovering the story themselves and with it the heart of the film.

3. What point do you want to make?
Is it possible in our neoliberal world not to follow the flock and to what extent? And if we choose to live differently, is it worth the fight? In the film Stijn discovers that shepherds are being recognized as intangible cultural heritage. But what good is that if they are 30K short each year? Towards the end of the film our seemingly traditional shepherd is being ‘exhibited’ on a TV show called ‘Weirdos’, in an episode about bygone times. What do we really think is important in our society?

4. What artistic choices did you make?
Everything is by choice. I wanted the audience to feel Stijn’s stress and get close to him. I explicitly shot with a wide lens, an 1.7 aperture with lots of DOF and handheld to capture the constant movement and tension of the situation. To emphasize this tension, the film is recorded in twilight whenever possible. The sun is only shining in the beginning, but in the rest of the film there is rain, snow, fog, wind and darkness. Most weather effects such as rain and snow were added in post. During writing I already knew I wanted to color grade everything in a ‘sky on fire / blue and orange’ complementary color contrast which underscores the tension and oppression.

5. What was a problem during the process?
I feel quite lucky with many scenes, as most of the film unfolded as I had anticipated in the years before. For example in the script I wrote “Besides Anna’s husband and father of Midas and Artuur, Stijn in a way is still a child living with his parents. His parents have to clean up his mess.” In the film Stijn is fined because a few sheep droppings were left on the pavement in front of an ice cream parlor. As mom is sweeping up the droppings with a hand brush, the police are writing a report. I do think it has a lot to do with having the nose for being at the right place at the right time. I can’t tell anything about the ending, but I am also satisfied with that.

6. Any challenges during the making?
To show that herding sheep isn’t as romantic as we think, I deliberately focused on Stijn’s moments of stress during shooting. The result however was, when people saw the first rough cut (with Stijn yelling and stressing most of the time), they were taken aback by that side of Stijn. I love Stijn and understand his behavior but the viewers didn’t feel for him the way I wanted them to feel. A struggle during the editing was to create the exact right balance in Stijn’s character: loving and passionate shepherd on one hand, burned out and angry entrepreneur on the other.

Trouw (national paper)“Film moment of 2019, not to be missed!”
Volkskrant (national paper) ★★★★a visual ode to a primeval landscape. And if there is ever a prize for the most beautiful drone images, SHEEP HERO should win.”
Nederlands Dagblad (national paper) ★★★★ “SHEEP HERO lets you really sympathize with Stijn.
★★★★★ “extremely strong film ”
Filmvandaag ★★★★ ½ Everything is perfect in SHEEP HERO. There is a complete story, interspersed with beautiful images and beautiful characters. None of this would be out of place in a feature film.
De Protagonisten ★★★★ “Truly recommended. The images are beautiful and more sincere than Stijn, you hardly find them anymore.”

It’s just movies – November 2019 – US Premiere DOCNYC

Modern Times Review – Another one bites the dust (read pdf)

  • Modern-times-Review-Another-one-bites-the-dust-Ton-van-Zantvoort

Trouw 03-01-2019 – These will be the top 5 films in 2019

  • Top-5-beste-films-2019-recensie-Trouw-best-of-SCHAPENHELD

Volkskrant 09-11-2018 / 28-10-2018

  • Ton van Zantvoort laat in Sheep Hero zien hoe het schaapsherderbestaan meer is dan een mooie zondagmiddag op de hei _ De Volkskrant
  • 2018_10_29_Volkskrant-IDFA aanraders-screen

The documentary SHEEP HERO ended with a 8.9 in the top 10 best films of IDFA 2018. During the live talkshow on national TV the winner of the IDFA Audience Award 2018 was announced. Director Ton van Zantvoort was there together with Father Loek to talk about the film (in Dutch) .

26-11- 2018 RTL 4 – 5 uur Live – IDFA special

Radio 1 journaal live with Stijn (16-11-2018, Dutch)

Radio 2 Ruud de Wild ‘de Wild in de middag’ with Stijn (16-11-2018, Dutch)

Radio 1 Felix Rottenberg IDFA aanrader (18-11-2018, Dutch)

Radio 4 Opium with Director Ton van Zantvoort (9-11-2018, Dutch)

SEE NL – Filmfund November 2018 – Nick Cunningham

  • SEE NL Filmfonds IDFA
  • SHEEP HERO - Never follow the flock
  • Radio 4 - Opium - Vondel cs Ton van Zantvoort
  • Radio 4-opium-andrea-van-pol-Ton-van-Zantvoort

Talking about SHEEP HERO with music by my composer Roy Bemelmans and music from films such as Requiem for a dream (Darren Aronofsky, music composed by Clint Mansell and performed by the Kronos Quartet) Arrival (music by Max Richter), and classic tv serie North & South. In Dutch on 0.00 – 2.10 | 9.30 – 26.00 | 34:00 – 42.00 | 51:30 – 56:00 | 1:03:50 -1:22:29

15-11-2018 Brabants Dagblad | BN de Stem

  • Oorlogen uitvechten op de hei, Schapenheld, Sheephero
  • Brabants-Dagblad-Schapenheld_ton-van-zantvoort

Bernhezer | regio Oss 09-11-2018

  • DeMooiBernhezeKrant-Film-van-Heeschenaar-Ton-van-Zantvoort-op-IDFA-2018
  • 2018_11_07_Regio-Oss-Ton-van-Zantvoort-Schapenheld-

International film festivals

2018-11-17IDFA Competition | Top 10 best of IDFAThe NetherlandsAmsterdam
2019-02-21Theatrical ReleaseIn 70+ cinemas for 2+ months more than 1000 screeningsThe NetherlandsAll major
2019-02-21DOCfeedOpening filmThe NetherlandsEindhoven
2019-02-21NVIFFAward for best film | best director WinnerThe NetherlandsAmsterdam
2019-03-06Thessaloniki Documentary FestivalInternational premiereGreeceThessaloniki
2019-03-08One World PragueRegional Jury Nominee | Czech premiereCzech republicPrague
2019-03-28Docville LeuvenBest International Documentary Nominee | Belgian premiereBelgiumLeuven
2019-03-28Millenium International Documentary Film FestivalLa Trois Distribution award | International competitionBelgiumBrussels
2019-04-06Visions du RéelGrand Angle nomineeSwitserlandNyon
2019-04-13TIAFF-The NetherlandsTilburg
2020-04-24La Bibliothèque du Grand M-ToulouseFrance
2019-04-29European Cinematography AwardWinner of the Best European Cinematography AwardMultiple citiesEurope
2019-05-08DOK.fest MünchenGerman premiereGermanyMünchen
2019-05-10Docs Against Gravity Film FestivalWinner Best Documentary Green Warsaw Award | CompetitionPolandWarszawa
2019-05-15Theatrical ReleaseBelgium in 8 venuesBelgiumSeveral
2019-05-23Cinema PlanetaBest International documentary nomineeMexicoGuernavaca
2019-06-01FICMECBest International Feature length Documentary NomineeCanary IslandsTenerife
2019-06-18FIDADOCPrix du Public nomineeMoroccoAgadir
2019-08-03International Documentary Festival of IerapetraIerapetra Award nomineeGreeceCrete
2019-06-17New York Cinematography AWARDS (NYCA)Winner of the best documentary filmUSANew York
2019-06-25Pärnu Film FestivalEstonian People' s Award nomineeEstoniaPärnu
2019-07-20European Film Festival Palić (26th)Eco Dox nomineeSerbiaPalić
2019-07-27KGIFF Kranjska Gora International Film FestivalVitranc Award nomineeSloveniaKranjska Gora
2019-08-02DokuFestBest Green Dox nomineeKosovoPrizren
2019-08-03Green Montenegro International Film FestSoul Ecology nomineeMontenegroPodgorica
2019-08-19West Europe International Film FestivalBest Feature Documentary & Best Cinematography In A Documentary NomineeBelgiumBrussels
2019-08-24Nacht van het Witte Doekoutdoor screeningThe NetherlandsDeurne
2019-08-25MakedoxBest International Feature documentary nomineeMacedoniaSkopje
2019-09-14MoldoxOfficial selectionMoldovaCahul
2019-09-22Split Film Festival (24th)Best International Features nomineeCroatiaSplit
2019-09-19Festiver Festival Barichara (9th)Best International Feature Film nominee + winner honorable jury mentionColombiaBarichara
2019-09-24Flahertiana International Documentary FestivalBest international documentary nomineeRussiaPerm
2019-09-30Dutch Film Festival (NFF, 39th)Golden Calf selectionThe NetherlandsUtrecht
2019-10-03NFFO Nature Film Festival OisterwijkOpening filmThe NetherlandsOisterwijk
2019-10-14Prince of Prestige Academy AwardsOfficial selectionUSAFlorida
2019-09-22Meetings in SiberiaOfficial selectionRussiaNovosibirsk
2019-10-04Västerås FilmfestivalBest International Documentary nomineeSwedenVästerås
2019-10-15Inconvenient Films FestivalAudience Choice Award nominee and Youth Jury Award nomineeLithuaniaVilnius
2019-10-09BIFED 2019Panarama sectionTurkeyBozcaada
2019-10-09One World SlovakiaBest International documentary nomineeSlovakiaBratislava
2019-10-10Ekofilm Film Festival (45th)Beauty of Nature nomineeCzech RepublicBrno
2019-10-10Golden Tree International Documentary Film FestivalOfficial opening filmGermanyFrankfurt
2019-10-17Alexandre Trauner ART/FILM FestivalOfficial selectionHungarySzolnok
2019-10-15Eberswalde Film Festival - ProvinzialeBest documentary nomineeGermanyEberswalde
2019-10-18Planet in FocusInternational competition nominee | North American premiereCanadaToronto
2019-10-17CineEco SeiaWinner Honourable mention and Best International Longas nomineePortugalSeia
2019-11-07DOC NYC (10th)International perspective and portrait section | US premiereUSANew York
2019-11-09Red Rock Film Festival (13th)Closing filmUSAUtah
2019-11-10Festival Tutti Nello Stesso PiattoOfficial competitionItalyTrente
2019-11-15Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film FestivalAnthropocene sectionHungaryBudapest
2019-11-01Accolade Global Film CompetitionAward of Excellence: Film FeatureUSACalifornia
2019-11-01NYCA New York Cinematography AwardsBest Documentary Film USA 2019USANew York
2019-11-01Prince of Prestige Acadamy awardBest motion picture, best documentary and best cinematography nomineeUSA-
2019-11-09Leeds International Film FestivalUK premiereUKLeeds
2019-11-07Panorama of the European Film in EgyptEgypt premiereEgyptZawya
2019-11-15Strasburg Film FestivalOfficial competitionUSAStrasburg
2019-11-19FISFF Fiorenzo Serra Film FestivalWinner 2nd Best International Feature filmItalySassari
2019-11-23Nederland International Film FestivalWinner Best International Documentary Award and Audience awardUSAColorado
2019-11-26International Anthropological Film Festival (8th)Official selectionIsraelJeruzalem
2019-11-27FICMA Festival Internacional de Cine con Medios AlternativosWinner Best International Documentary AwardMexicoMexico City
2019-12-01LIDF London International Documentary FestivalBest International Documentary nomineeUKLondon
2019-12-09Iran International Documentary Film FestivalWinner special Jury mention and Best Full-Length Documentary NomineeIranTehran
2019-12-10GZDOCGolden Kapok Award NomineeChinaGuagnzhou
2019-12-12China International Green Film WeekselectionChinaBeijing
2020-01-18Alternative green weekHeinrich Boell Foundation, Schumannstrasse 8, 10117 BerlinGermanyBerlin
2020-01-08De RomaTurnhoutsebaan 286BelgiumBorgerhout
2020-01-15Cultuurcentrum Begijnhof DiestCitadel, 3290BelgiumDiest
2020-02-01Rome Independent Prisma AwardsBest Feature Doc nomineeItalyRome
2020-01-31Florence Film AwardsOfficial finalist and winner of best original storyItalyFlorence
2020-03-21LA Festival of CinemaFinalistUSALos Angeles
2020-03-01JansstheaterLichemThe NetherlandsLochem
2020-03-19DCEFF - Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's CapitalOfficial selectionUSAWashington DC
2020-03-22Torino Underground Cinefest (7th)Winner best director feature filmsItalyTorino
2020-05-04EcozineOfficial opening filmSpainZaragoza
2020-05-11EkotopfilmInternational CompetitionBratislavaSlovakia
2020-07-06Alternative Film FestivalWinner best documentary FeatureCanadaToronto
2020-07-25Woods Hole Film Festival (29th)Best feature documentary nomineeUSAMassachusetts
2020-08-03The 26th Shanghai TV FestivalMagnolia award for best documentary nomineeChinaShanghai
2020-08-16Krakow Green Film FestivalBest feature documentary nomineePolandKrakow
2020-09-01Salento Int'l Film FestivalWinner best documentaryItalyTricase
2020-09-03Euganea Film Festival 2020Best International Film nomineeItalyPadua
2020-09-03FicLaPaz Festival Internacional de Cine de La PazBest Documentary Feature AwardBoliviaLa Paz
2020-09-12Greenscreen NaturfilmfestivalWinner best newcomerGermanyEckernförde
2020-09-14VI Apricot Tree Ujan International Documentary Film Festival in ArmeniaBest Documentary Feature nomineeArmeniaUjan
2020-09-14The International TV Broadcasters and Independent Producers Festival SIMFESTRomania-
2020-09-2318th Włodzimierz Puchalski International Nature Film FestivalWinner of the President of the Polish Filmmakers Association AwardPolandŁódź
2020-10-06Innsbruck Nature Film FestivalBest International Film nomineeAustriaInnsbruck
2020-10-08Pastoralismes et Grands EspacesOfficial selectionFranceLes Adrets
2020-10-08Workers Unite FestivalOfficial selectionUSANew York
2020-10-135x4 - Brandenburger Festivalkino TourThalia - FilmFestival CottbusGermanyPotsdam
2020-10-14French Theatrical Release for multiple weeksEspace Saint-Michel (first week 32 screenings)FranceParis
2020-10-14French Theatrical Release for multiple weeksLe ClubFranceGrenoble
2020-10-14French Theatrical Release for multiple weeksLe StarFranceStrasbourg
2020-10-14French Theatrical Release for multiple weeksLes VariétésFranceMarseille
2020-10-14French Theatrical Release for multiple weeks L'Espace MalrauxFranceChambéry
2020-10-15UNAFF United Nations Association Film FestivalOfficial selection/ Palo Alto/ San FransiscoUSAStanford
2020-10-16El Paso Film FestivalBest Documentary Feature Film nomineeUSATexas
2020-10-17United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)official selectionStanford, CAUSA
2020-10-255x4 - Brandenburger Festivalkino TourMovieland Berlin ErknerGermanyErkner
2020-10-295x4 - Brandenburger Festivalkino TourZempow - AutokinoGermanyWittstock/Dosse
2020-10-305x4 - Brandenburger Festivalkino TourBrandenburg - Event-TheaterGermanyBrandenburg
2020-11-12NorthwestFest International Documentary FestivalBest International Film nominee /audience award nomineeCanadaEdmonton Alberta
2020-11-16Europe On ScreenRealities sectionIndonesiaJakarta
2020-11-25Saratov Sufferings Film FestWinner of Ministry of Culture of the Saratov RegionSaratovRussia
2020-12-01Asti International Film FestivalOfficial selectionItalyAsti
2020-12-02 6th Apricot Tree Ujan International Documentary Film FestivalWinner Feature-Length Competition Grand PrixArmeniaYerevanYerevan
2020-12-04Encuentro Internacional de Cineastas 2020Official selectionMexicoMonterrey
2020-12-07Ânûû-rû Âboro International Film FestivalOfficial selectionNew CaledoniaPoindimié
2020-12-12IndiecinemaOfficial selectionItaly
2021-02-05Esto Es Para EstoOfficial selectionMexicoMonterrey, Nuevo Leon
2021-06-01GRACE International Film FestivalCompetitionGermanyBerlin
2021-29-01Rain International Nature Film FestivalInternational CompetitionIndiaKottayam
2021-02-047th International Peloponnisos Documentary FestivalMain competitionGreeceKalamata
2021-06-18Formula MundiMain competitionGermany
2021-10-28Studio de BakkerijscreeningNetherlandsRotterdam
2021-11-18Universal Film FestivalBest documentary Feature nomineeUSANew York
2022-06-23Greener ScreenscreeningJordanAman
2022-09-07SIFF Serbest International Film Festivalmain competitionMoldova
2022-07-14Ecocupmain selectionRussiaMoscow

SHEEP HERO on Dutch television

Omroep Brabant:
Saturday June 1st at 16:00
Sunday June 2nd at 20:30

Monday June 10 at 20:25
Tuesday June 11 at 09:55

In Belgium cinemas

Gent – Sphinx Cinema | Kortrijk Buda | Leuven – Zed

Dutch Theatrical screenings (1000+) in

Delft – Lumen theater
Dieren – Filmhuis Dieren
Enschede – Concordia
Den Bosch – Verkadefabriek
Den Haag – Filmhuis Den Haag
Eindhoven – NatLab
Geldrop – Filmhuis Hofdael
Goes – Podium ‘t Beest
Groningen – Groninger Forum
Haarlem – Filmschuur
Harderwijk – Filmhuis Harderwijk
Heesch – Filmhuis de Pas
Helmond – Cacaofabriek

Hilversum – Filmtheater Hilversum
Leeuwarden – Slieker Film
Leiden – Kijkhuis
Lelystad – Agora
Maastricht – Lumiere
Middelburg – Cinema Middelburg
Nijmegen – 042
Nijmegen – Lux
Oosterbeek – Filmhuis Oosterbeek
Oosterhout – Film op Locatie
Oudenbosch – Filmtheater FanFare
Rotterdam – LantarenVenster
Rotterdam – KINO

Schijndel – Filmclub Schijndel
Tiel – Agnietenhof Tiel
Tilburg – Cinecitta
Utrecht – LHC Louis Hartlooper Complex
Utrecht – Sprinhaver
Veendam – Filmhuis Van Beresteyn
Waalwijk – De Leest
Wageningen – Movie W
Zaandam – De Fabriek
Zierikzee – Filmtheater Zierikzee

Zwolle – Fraterhuis



WinnerBest Documentary FeatureLA Festival of CinemaUSA2021Los AngelosApril17
WinnerMinistry of Culture of the Saratov Region awardSaratov Sufferings Film FestRussia2020SaratovNovember25
WinnerFeature-Length Competition Grand Prix 6th Apricot Tree Ujan International Documentary Film FestivalArmenia2020YerevanDecember2
WinnerGrand Prix15ème Festival International du film Pastoralismes et Grands EspacesFrance2020GrenobleOctober11
WinnerGrand prize of the city of Innsbruck for the best Environmental documentaryINF Innsbruck Nature FestivalAustria2020InnsbruckOctober9
WinnerChristian Berger Cinematography AwardINF Innsbruck Nature FestivalAustria2020InnsbruckOctober9
WinnerPresident of the Polish Filmmakers Association Award18th Włodzimierz Puchalski International Nature Film FestivalPoland2020ŁódźSeptember23
WinnerBest documentarySalento Int'l Film FestivalItaly2020TricaseSeptember1
WinnerBest NewcomerInternational Green Screen Nature Film FestivalGermany2020EckernfördeSeptember14
WinnerBest Documentary Feature AwardFicLaPaz (7th) International Film Festival BoliviaBolivia2020La PazSeptember9
WinnerBest Cinematography AwardWoods Hole film festivalUSA2020M.A.August16
WinnerBest Documentary FeatureAlternative Film FestivalCanada2020TorontoJuly6
WinnerBest Cinematography AwardIndie Film AwardsJapan2020TokyoMay31
WinnerNL Award Best Documentary of the yearNL Media event RPOThe Netherlands2020HilversumApril21
WinnerBest DirectorTorino Underground Cinefest (7th)Italy2020TorinoMarch29
WinnerMost Original Story Honorable mentionFlorence Film AwardsItaly2020FlorenceFebruary4
WinnerSpecial Jury AwardCinema VéritéIran2019TehranDecember16
WinnerBest International Documentary AwardFICMAMexico2019Mexico CityDecember3
WinnerBest International Documentary Award and Audience awardNederland International Film FestivalUSA2019ColoradoNovember28
Winner2nd Best International Feature filmFiorenzo Serra Film FestivalItaly2019SassariNovember25
WinnerHonourable mentionCine Eco SeiaPortugal2019SeiaOctober19
WinnerAward of Excellence: Film FeatureAccolade Global Film CompetitionUSA2019CaliforniaAugust21
WinnerBest Documentary FilmNYCA New York Cinematography AwardsUSA2019New YorkJune16
WinnerHonourable mentionFestiver Barichara Green Film FestivalColombia2019SantanderOctober16
WinnerGreen Warsaw AwardMillennium Docs Against GravityPoland2019WarsawMay19
WinnerBest European Cinematography awardEuropean Cinematography Awards/ ECAEurope2019AmsterdamFebruary14
WinnerLa Trois Distribution awardMillennium Documentary FestivalBelgium2019BrusselsMarch28
WinnerBest Film and Best DirectorNVIFF New Vision International Film FestivalThe Netherlands2019AmsterdamFebruary21
NomineeTop 10 best of IDFA AudienceIDFA International Documentary Filmfestival AmsterdamThe Netherlands2018AmsterdamNovember24
NomineeBest Documentary Feature, Best Director, Best EditingIndie Film AwardsJapan2020Tokyo
NomineeBest motion picture, best documentary and best cinematography nomineePrince of Prestige Acadamy awardUSA2019
NomineeRegional Jury AwardOne World PragueCzech republic2019
NomineeBest International DocumentaryDocville LeuvenBelgium2019
NomineeGrand AngleVisions du RéelSwitserland2019
NomineeBest International documentaryCinema PlanetaMexico2019
NomineeBest International Feature length DocumentaryFICMECCanary Islands2019
NomineePrix du PublicFIDADOCMorocco2019
NomineeIerapetra AwardInternational Documentary Festival of IerapetraGreece2019
NomineeEstonian People' s AwardPärnu Film FestivalEstonia2019
NomineeEco DoxEuropean Film Festival Palić (26th)Serbia2019
NomineeVitranc AwardKGIFF Kranjska Gora International Film FestivalSlovenia2019
NomineeBest Green DoxDokuFestKosovo2019
NomineeSoul Ecology AwardGreen Montenegro International Film FestMontenegro2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryMakedoxMacedonia2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentarySplit Film Festival (24th)Croatia2019
NomineeBest International Feature filmFestiver Festival Barichara (9th)Colombia2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryFlahertiana International Documentary FestivalRussia2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryVästerås FilmfestivalSweden2019
NomineeAudience Choice Award and Youth Jury AwardInconvenient Films FestivalLithuania2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryOne World SlovakiaSlovakia2019
NomineeBeauty of Nature AwardEkofilm Film Festival (45th)Czech Republic2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryEberswalde Film Festival - ProvinzialeGermany2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryPlanet in FocusCanada2019
NomineeBest International Longas AwardCineEco SeiaPortugal2019
NomineeAudience AwardThessaloniki Documentary FestivalGreece2019
NomineeBest Film & Best CinematographyWest Europe International Film FestivalBelgium2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryGolden Tree International Documentary Film FestivalGermany2019
NomineeBest Documentary FeaturetteRed Rock Film Festival (13th)USA2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryFestival Tutti Nello Stesso PiattoItaly2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryLeeds International Film FestivalUK2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryStrasburg Film FestivalUSA2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryInternational Anthropological Film Festival (8th)Israel2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryLIDF London International Documentary FestivalUK2019
NomineeBest International Feature documentaryDOC NYC (10th)USA2019
NomineeFinalistNear Nazareth Festival ( NNF)Israel2019Afula
NomineeFinalist Best Documentary FeatureLA Festival of CinemaUSA2020Los Angeles
NomineeShanghai TV Festival (26th)Magnolia awardChina2020ShanghaiAugust
Best documentary 2019

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