ompletely unexpectedly Renzo Veenstra (editor in chief of Omroep Brabant) called this afternoon and told that our film SHEEP HERO has won the NL Award! SHEEP HERO was nominated together with Opgeve: amme never nie (Omroep Zeeland) and Mannen in zwart – in the shadow of the music (L1, Sander Selen) for best documentary of the year of all regional broadcasters. The NL Awards are the annual awards for the best productions of the regional broadcasters. The NL Award was to be presented on March 25 by Minister Arie Slob (Primary and Secondary Education and Media) during the NL Media event, but this event was canceled due to the Corona Virus. Arie Slob indicates from The Hague that he is once again delighted with the quality that has been rewarded with an NL Award this year.

  • NL-award-winnaar-beste-documentaire-uitreiking
  • NL-AWARD-winnaar beste documentaire van het jaar
Unexpected video call via Skype with the news that SHEEP HERO has won the NL AWARD. The NL Media event is cancelled this year so no fancy photos.

Filmmaker Ton van Zantvoort also won the NL Award in 2015 with the film the BENNO TAPES. The Golden Nl Award for best transcendent production was also won.

NL award Best documentary of the year Ton van Zantvoort

NL Award Jury rapport:

The documentary by Van Zantvoort is a beautiful document with national relevance. The jury was fascinated by the story of the Brabant shepherd Stijn Hilgers who fights for his flock and for his existence. For two years, the filmmaker followed Hilgers, who has to cope with the competition with large cheaper mowing companies and often has to deal with his surroundings. The structure of the story is clever, the editing is smooth and the stratification of the character is nicely elaborated. The Brabant nature through the seasons is beautifully portrayed, but the makers do not lose themselves in the image of a romantic sheep shepherd existence. The main character goes through many emotions and without being forceful the camera is everywhere. A stylish portrait of a passionate person followed in his habitat.

A personal story of a driven person on his stubborn quest in life followed persistently by a cameraman with an eye for beauty has led to this unique portrait of a sympathetic person. From the first image you are irresistibly carried away in the developments. It is great how the makers manage to stay close and still keep their distance from the main character. People who work with nature slowly disappear from our landscape. That theme has been beautifully portrayed regionally and affects us all. The winner in the documentary category is Omroep Brabant met Schapenheld.


NL Award assessment criteria
– craftsmanship (informative, entertaining, exciting, fascinating, independent, critical, visual)
– regional involvement, relevance and impact
– originality, innovative
– new journalistic forms
– the connection between the different media (radio, television and online)
– values ​​used by regional broadcasters are expressed, such as: independence, balance, topicality, plurality, diversity, proximity, contemporaryity, regional recognition, interactivity, reliability and accessibility.

According to jury chairman Rein Tolsma, all nominees met the set criteria: well-made, distinctive in quality and creativity, with regional relevance and impact, journalism and informative and special in design.

NL Award Jury members
The jury for the NL Awards 2019 consisted of chairman Rein Tolsma from Karlijn Houterman (winner of the Golden NL Award 2018, editor RTL), Susanne de Kroon (editor-in-chief of the Regiojournaal), Annewil Neervens (program manager innovation AVROTROS), Botte Jellema (journalist, podcaster and presenter). ), Kirsten Jassies (content strategist), Bert Huisjes (director-editor-in-chief of Omroep WNL), Joris Gerritsen (chief in / news De Gelderlander) and Jessica Swinkels (director of the Special Journalistic Projects Fund). Vicky Serao is secretary to the jury. Richel Bernsen is again coordinator of the NL Awards.

De RPO is op basis van de Mediawet het samenwerkings- en coördinatieorgaan voor de uitvoering van de publieke mediaopdracht op regionaal niveau.

SHEEP HERO screened on more than 75 international film festivals, won 16 awards and no less than 35 nominations.


  • NOMINATIONS Ton-van-zantvoort-filmmaker - prijzen- awards-

All awards and nominations below

WinnerBest Documentary FeatureLA Festival of Cinema USA2021Los AngelosApril17
WinnerMinistry of Culture of the Saratov Region awardSaratov Sufferings Film FestRussia2020SaratovNovember25
WinnerFeature-Length Competition Grand Prix 6th Apricot Tree Ujan International Documentary Film Festival Armenia2020YerevanDecember2
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 documentary Salento Int'l Film FestivalItaly2020TricaseSeptember1
WinnerBest NewcomerInternational Green Screen Nature Film Festival Germany2020EckernfördeSeptember14
WinnerBest Documentary Feature AwardFicLaPaz (7th) International Film Festival BoliviaBolivia2020La PazSeptember9
WinnerBest Cinematography Award Woods Hole film festivalUSA2020M.A.August16
WinnerBest Documentary FeatureAlternative Film FestivalCanada2020TorontoJuly6
WinnerBest Cinematography AwardIndie Film AwardsJapan 2020TokyoMay31
WinnerNL Award Best Documentary of the yearNL Media event RPOThe Netherlands2020HilversumApril21
WinnerBest DirectorTorino Underground Cinefest (7th)Italy2020TorinoMarch29
WinnerMost Original Story Honorable mentionFlorence Film AwardsItaly2020FlorenceFebruary 4
WinnerSpecial Jury AwardCinema Vérité Iran2019TehranDecember16
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 Competition USA2019CaliforniaAugust21
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 AwardsJapan 2020Tokyo
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 Award KGIFF 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 - Provinziale Germany2019
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 Feature LA Festival of Cinema USA2020Los Angeles
NomineeShanghai TV Festival (26th)Magnolia awardChina2020ShanghaiAugust

Have look at the website to see all screenings, nominations and awards.

NOMINATIES Ton-Van-Zantvoort

Kijk voor meer PRIJZEN & NOMINATIES hier.