Jan Van Ijken

Jan van IJken is an internationally known documentary photographer and filmmaker from the Netherlands. Self-taught and working mainly autonomously on long-term projects and microscopy, he is interested in human/animal relationships and nature. 

His most recent video BECOMING (2018) has been screened at more than 25 International Film Festivals and received the Award for Best Short Documentary at the Innsbruck Nature Film Festival 2018 and the Vision Science Award at Imagine Science Abu Dhabi 2019. The film went ‘viral’ on the internet, being awarded the Vimeo Staff Pick and watched by a few million people on National Geographic, Aeon, Colossal, Live Science, IFLScience and numerous others.

His ART OF FLYING (2015) movie was Awarded Best Art Film at Pärnu Film Festival, Estonia. It was screened more than 50 times at international film Festivals, Galleries, Biennales, etc.

FACING ANIMALS (2012) won the Grand Prix Short Films at Split Film Festival, Croatia

Jan has published 3 books: Precious Animals (2005), New Neighbours (2004) and A touch of Divinity (2001)

3 words to describe Nature?

The connection with all other life

Pristine beauty

A fragile ecosystem, not to be destroyed by humans

3 things Nature taught you?

To be silent 

That all life is one

To care for other creatures

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The North Sea and Waddenzee (NL)

Kagerplassen (NL)

Waterland (NL)

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?


When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?


When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?


When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?


When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?


When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like running

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Definitely Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?


Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Ice skating in our neighborhood on local waters