Maasja Ooms

Winner special Jury Award for Dutch documentary IDFA 2017

November 22nd. 20:25 hrs, TV BROADCAST by NPO2 /  VPRO.

A disturbing, observing film portraying the daily life and deepest emotions of a young, homeless girl who is in danger of derailing.

Alicia is one year old when she is removed from her home. Via a foster family she is placed into a children’s care home when she is five. By the time she is nine, she is still there, awaiting placement with a new family. This is when the documentary ALICIA starts. For three years the film follows the girl in her daily life in close-cropped, observing images. These make the desires and powerlessness of the young, homeless Alicia, as well as the impact of a lack of perspective, palpable. Will the girl derail because of the hopelessness of her situation or are we witness to an inescapable history that repeats itself?

Maasja Ooms directed, filmed and edited ALICA to make a poignant film about a universal theme: our need for love.

Maasja Ooms has completed the Photo Academy and the Film Academy in the early nineties. After having worked as a cinematographer for about 15 years, she has developed herself into an editor. At first she worked on documentaries she had filmed herself, later on she also edited other films and worked as an edit coach. Because of her strong involvement as a cinematographer with respect to content, the films became a collaborative effort, in co direction.

In 2013 Maasja started an extensive research, focussing on observations about the behaviour between people. This led to the production of two films, which Maasja directed, filmed and edited. Tussen Mensen (55’, VPRO, 2015) and ALICIA (90’, VPRO, 2017, IDFA Dutch competition).


ALICIA, directed by Maasja, Ooms, is awarded with the Special Jury Award for Dutch Documentary at IDFA 2017.  It premiered November 18th in Eye 1. On November 19 the second screening with extended Q&A was followed by a dialogue between the audience, professionals from Child Welfare Bureau and decisionmakers.  It was the start of a series of dialogues about what could and should be the impact of the film on society. It was hosted by AEF-consultant Frank Candel. Jan Menting, ambassador 'Zorglandschap Jeugd' announced three days later that VNG, WVS and Jeugdzorg Nederland made the commitment that together they will take the 1000- Alicia's in the Netherlands out of the system, because

they need permanent care and treatment, whilst the system is now focused on temporary treatment. Decisionmakers from municipalites in 42 regions and local youth care professionals will collaborate to find out of the box solutions.  

Besides these collaborations there will be series of dialogues for a general audience who want to participate in the creation of a better environment for children with attachement disorder.  These dialogues are supported and coproduced by Stichting Het Vergeten Kind. It is also supported by Stichting Janivo. ?The first will be held on January 17th, in Pakhuis de Zwijger Amsterdam. For full pogram check