Sheep Hero

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.

This is the trailer of the documentary film. Lower on this page you can watch the whole film.

They struggle 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.

Shepherd Stijn leading his flock in an open field

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.

Portrait of Stijn, one of the last traditional sheep herders in The Netherlands.

Ultimately Stijn will have to make a choice, will his struggle pay off or will he be forced to go with the flock?

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Directed by Ton van Zantvoort, the film has won multiple awards and nominations all around the world:

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, Nederland International Film Festival, USA, 2019
2nd prize, 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
Winner Best Documentary Film, NYCA New York Cinematography Awards, USA 2019
Honoroble mention, Festiver Festival Barichara, Colombia, 2019
Green Warsaw Award, Millenium 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 + Best Director, NVIFF, The Netherlands, 2019
Top 10 best of IDFA audience award, IDFA, The Netherlands 2018
Best Feature Length Documentary, DOCfeed, The Netherlands, 2017
GOLDEN NL- AWARD, ROOS Foundation, The Netherlands, 2016
NL-AWARD, ROOS Foundation, The Netherlands, 2016
Trevignano FilmFest Award, Italy, 2013
Honorable Mention for Best International Short Film, Planet in Focus, Toronto, Canada, 2011
Jury Award, FIFDH, Festival International du film des droits de l’homme de Paris, France, 2011
Audience award, The Art of the Document, Warsaw, Poland, 2010
Special jury mention – The Art of the Document , Warsaw, Poland, 2010
Golden Olive award for best documentary, International TV Festival Bar, Montenegro 2010
Best photography Award, International TV Festival Bar, Montenegro,2010
Audience Award, Millennium International Documentary Festival, Belgium 2010
Award for best film -chosen by media professionals-, Festival Internacional de Cinema Ambiental, Brasil 2010
Jury Award best treatment, Cinema Planeta, Mexico 2010
Audience favorites Mixed Greens, Planet in Focus, Canada 2009
Open Eyes Award special mention, Medfilm Festival, Italy 2009
Dok Leipzig Healthy Workplaces Film Award, International Leipzig Festival, Germany 2009
Honourable Mention, Media city 13 Visual art Festival 2007

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