Film-maker Ada-Maria Ichim wins STEPdoc 2011 Mobility Grant

12th December 2011

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The Ratiu Foundation is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2011 session of the STEPdoc programme is Ada-Maria Ichim, with a project about the first ever hijacked plane, in 1947 Romania – ‘Hijacked!’. Ada-Maria Ichim will work in London as the STEPdoc winner in 2012, with the aim of developing her directorial skills in the creative atmosphere of the British documentary film scene. Ada-Maria’s project centres on Vasile Ciobanu, the Romanian Royal Family’s pilot during and immediately after WW2, survivor of wartime mass evacuations, who was awarded by the Red Cross for the transport of the wounded from the Eastern front. He was the pilot of the world’s first hijacked aeroplane in 1947. He survived the attack, only for his life to be hijacked by the new Romanian government after the war. Taking this extraordinary story as a starting point, Ada-Maria Ichim, Vasile Ciobanu’s granddaughter, engages in a personal journey in search for the truth about her family. Ada-Maria Ichim is an independent film-maker. STEPdoc mobility grant is a Ratiu Foundation programme which aims to help reinvigorate Romanian documentary film, stimulating artistic innovation. STEPdoc consists of one mobility grant per year, with a value of £1,500, which allows a Romanian film maker at an early stage of his or her career one month of immersion in the UK documentary culture. The STEPdoc mobility grant is to be used for the individual research of a specific project set in the UK and / or for networking with a UK-based company with a view to developing a common film project. The previous awardees, from the establishment of the grant in 2007, are: Adina Pintilie and Corina Radu (2007), Matei Alexandru Mocanu (2008), Miruna Boruzescu (2009), and Tudor Botezatu (2010). Photo: Vasile Ciobanu in front of his plane, 1940s © courtesy of Ada-Maria Ichim