A Documentary by Mark Arents & Stephan Brandhorst
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About the project
LOCKLINESacrificing everything for the Olympics! Documentary about athlete Koen Smet who left Amsterdam to train with record holder Colin Jackson in Cardiff.


In the documentary Barriers we tell the story of Koen Smet. At this moment the best achieving Dutch hurdle athlete. Fourteen times he crowned himself Ductch Champion hurdles, but he's not finished yet. His lifetime goal is mainly to compete at the Olympics. At a crucial point in his career Koen took the opportunity to go and train with Colin Jackson (world record holder on the 60 meters hurdles) in Cardiff (Wales). 

Together they try to get the most out of Koens career. Considering the fact that only two years ago Koen was still fighting depression, walking this path is a major achievement. Now nothing seems to stop him!

We follow Koen on his journey from Amsterdam to Cardiff. We witness him and his personal coach and friend Colin Jackon, both on and off the track. We'll follow his indoor season, that despite his 11th Dutch championship wasn't what both coach and athlete expected.

Back in Cardiff we'll see him recover from a serious injury. On top of that Colin shares about the great potential Koen has: 'If Koens healthy, we'll definitely see him at the Olympics.


Being two young ambitious filmmakers with a passion for sports, we couldn't help but make a sports documentary. We knew Koen before because of some earlier work we had done together. The moment he revealed his plans to move to Cardiff to train with Colin, we started thinking about making a documentary about him. So we did. Together with Koen and his Ford Ka, we drove to Cardiff and started capturing his adventure.

The making of the movie was also the start of a friendship. Because of that we came closer and closer to the real story behind a top athlete.


In the documentary Barriers you will see a full picture of sports at the highest level. Where many sports documentaries will focus on success only, we focus on every aspect needed to reach such a high level. Of course Koen knew some peaks during his career , but he knows like no other what he left behind to reach that.

Koen really leaves everything behind to chase his dreams with Colin Jackson in Cardiff. This fact, along with all the sacrifices that he needed to make and the struggles of every day life in Cardiff, give us the complete picture of professional sports at the highest level. 

With your help this documentary will go to the next level. On top of that we hope to continue to follow Koen on his way to the Olympics in 2020. That’s only possible with your help. Take some time to check the rewards that we temporarily make available as a thank you for your help. Thanks in advance!

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Quote that inspired the maker

The whole legend story behind Colin Jackson is not on top of my mind anymore. Just like me he also has to whipe his butt every morning.
Koen Smet
This project was successfully funded on 15-06-2019

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