Johan (12) dreams about going out and discovering the world. He decides to join a camping trip: a survival week in the woods. Being the new kid at camp, he finds it tough to secure his place in the group. When night falls he suffers a pitch-black attack of homesickness. Johan fights an internal struggle to overcome his fears, leave his comfort zone and become a valuable member of the scouting group.
Sjoerd Niekamp (1990) graduated the Dutch Film and TV Academy with his film ‘Een scout weet de weg’ (A scout knows the way). It won him the award of the Dutch film journalists association KNF for the best graduation film of the class of 2013. “Niekamp knows how to strike the right tone and choose the right moment… An empathetic portrait of two friends…” said the judges in their report. The documentary was also awarded with Best Student Film at the international film festival Dokfest in Munich.
After an internship at Klokhuis and Weekendschool choosing youth documentary was a logical step for Niekamp. ‘Johan’ is his debut. The film was developed with the Kids & Docs workshop of IDFA, Cinekid and Mediafonds. An episode for youth documentary TV series Bikkels followed soon after. At the moment Niekamp is working on a new film plan for Dokument Junior, a youth documentary initiative by Dutch broadcaster NCRV.