Ton van Zantvoort
Netherlands, 2018, 81′
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.
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 major film festivals, broadcast worldwide and won a dozen awards, such as at DOK Leipzig. 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 by Jef Monté and recently a feature length film about the enigmatic artist Dick Verdult. 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.