Theo Van de Sande, a graduate of the Dutch Film Academy and an award-winning Cinematographer, started working professionally while still in school. At an early age, Theo found his passion in still photography and earned his first camera by working in the strawberry fields. He decided to try his luck and changed his major from Biochemistry to Cinema after seeing the films of Ingmar Bergman and other European Directors, as well as the Japanese film WOMAN IN THE DUNES.

Amsterdam’s roaring years, filled with optimism, excitement and creative freedom had a big impact on Theo’s new found passion and he chose to shoot the rock-concert film STAMPING GROUNDS, (an European WOODSTOCK) instead of going to his FILM ACADEMY graduation ceremony. For a short time he was part of an underground film group HET AMSTERDAMS STADSJOURNAAL, but he mainly concentrated on shooting feature films.

Since he still couldn’t let go of the adventure of making documentaries, he shot an expedition film, ORONOQUE, a personal chronicle of a voyage that he and Aat Den Ouden, his buddy adventurer, took to follow an unknown river called Oronoque.
The film was awarded Best Expedition film at the Trento Film Festival

In the early eighties, Theo shot a quarter of all the Dutch Cinema and he received THE GOLDEN CALF (the “Dutch Oscar”) for Best Cinematography twice, both in 1982 and 1987—since in that time the award was only given once every five years for a body of work.

Numerous feature films shot in Europe by Theo Van de Sande got international attention including; THE GIRL WITH THE RED HAIR, THE ILLUSIONIST (which received the Dutch Film Critics Award and Best Dutch Film Award) and THE POINTSMAN, which won the award for Best Cinematography at the Madrid Film Festival.

THE ASSAULT, Theo’s last film in the Netherlands, won the Golden Globe and became the first Dutch feature film to receive the ACADEMY AWARD for Best Foreign Language Film.

By this time, Theo was already scouting his first American film, MIRACLE MILE, starring Anthony Edwards & Mare Winningham and directed by Steve De Jarnatt, which had been listed as “one of the 10 best unmade scripts” in Hollywood and after it’s release, became an instant cult film. After 27 years MIRACLE MILE was re-mastered and re-released on Blue-Ray and won in 2016 the SATURN AWARD FOR- BEST DVD / BLU-RAY CLASSIC RELEASE, followed this year by a revival in Europe and the USA.
After over 25 feature films and documentaries in Europe and around the world, Theo settled in Los Angeles with his wife– filmmaker Michèle Ohayon, and continued to work on more than 35 features, a great variety of both studio and independent films. He has shot for such directors as: Gary Fleder, Mick Jackson, Carl Franklin, Mark Waters, Lasse Hallstrom, Garry Marshall, Joan Micklin Silver, and the legendary Robert Wise.


While Theo has worked in virtually every genre, WAYNE’S WORLD was his first comedy, which led to many more successful comedies including BIG DADDY and GROWN UPS.

Theo has continued his love of documentaries and has shot and co-produced several award-winning documentaries with his partner Michèle Ohayon, including COLORS STRAIGHT UP which was nominated for an ACADEMY AWARD, DGA AWARD and SPIRIT AWARD for Best Feature Length Documentary along with winning 13 national awards, STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME, which received the prestigious Yad Vashem award, Sonoma Festival Audience Award and screened at the United Nations. COWBOY DEL AMOR won the Jury and Audience award at the SXSW festival, an IDA Nomination and several other national awards.

In the TV world, Theo worked with director Mick Jackson on the pilot for THE PRACTICE, on the TV feature TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE starring Jack Lemmon, which won an Emmy, a DGA award and was nominated for a Golden Globe, and THE MEMORY KEEPER’S DAUGHTER starring Emily Watson, which was also nominated for an Emmy

For director Gary Fleder he shot the feature film HOMEFRONT, and also 7 TV-pilots and 5 TV-episodes. Theo’s TV film DELIVERANCE CREEK, a period piece set during the Civil War and directed by Jon Amiel got an ASC Nomination in the category of Best TV film in 2014.

During his two most recent features, BAD SANTA 2 and MAGIC CAMP (2018 Disney release), Theo collaborated with Director Mark Waters, for whom he also shot 2 TV-Pilots a year earlier.