written and directed by Roxy Toporowych
WHEN: Thursday, April 14, 7:30 p.m. E.T.
WHERE: JCTC Studios, 165 Newark Avenue, Jersey City
Find more information and reserve tickets at www.jctcenter.org and www.seetickets.us/jctcenter.
Accessibility accommodations for this event are available upon request.
Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC), together with Ukrainian JC and Ukrainian and Jersey City artists, announce a screening of the feature-length film Julia Blue, with all proceeds for the direct benefit of the people of Ukraine. Julia Blue (running time: 90 minutes) is written and directed by Roxy Toporowych, a first-generation Ukrainian American. Toporowych will introduce her film and lead a discussion and Q&A following the screening. (Photo above by Sashko Roshchyn)
The inspiration for Julia Blue came from Toporwych’s time spent in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2014, a few short months after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the downing of MH-17. “I found myself thinking about the basis of one’s identity. What makes us feel that we are part of a certain ethnic or cultural group? Is it what we are taught? Where we are born? What language we speak? How do we preserve a sense of self when our identity is attached to a country whose status is in constant flux?” shares Toporowych. “I wanted to explore this notion of identity. At the same time, it became important for me to find a way to spotlight what I was experiencing. This wasn’t a war happening in a far-off land. I didn’t just read about it online. This was happening around me in real time,” she adds.
“Through Julia Blue, Roxy authentically captures the realities of wartime. Her film perfectly encapsulates the experiences of the many young people growing up and claiming their identity in a country at war. By presenting Julia Blue, JCTC hopes to foster a greater shared understanding of the war’s impact on the Ukrainian people and their rich heritage,” says Olga Levina, JCTC’s Executive Producer.
Julia Blue Synopsis
Inspired to study photography by the protest scenes she witnessed in Kyiv during the 2014 revolution, Julia (Polina Snisarenko) has now set her sights on a future outside her beloved Ukraine. A year after the revolution, Julia volunteers at the military hospital for injured soldiers returning from the front in Eastern Ukraine. Julia brings a carefree happiness to their ward. One day she meets English (Dima Yaroshenko), a soldier who has arrived at the hospital with easily mended surface wounds and deeply set emotional scarring. A gentle relationship emerges that draws the two of them closer, but each has withheld something vital from the other. When Julia decides to bring English home for a family wedding, the cost of their secrets threatens more than their relationship. A beautiful allegory for the freedoms of our modern world that seem all too fleeting, Julia Blue reminds us not just of the costs of love and war, but of the sometimes painful choices freedom demands. Featuring breathtaking cinematography from metropolitan Kyiv to the sweeping landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains, the heart and soul of Ukraine is on display with Julia Blue.
About Jersey City Theater Center
Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about important issues of our times through the arts. Co-founded by Executive Producer Olga Levina, an immigrant from Belarus, Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) produces and presents universal yet locally relevant works, emphasizing social justice and human rights.
Since 2006, JCTC has provided a platform for all artistic voices to be heard. When we share stories through the arts, we spark meaningful dialogue that leads to greater understanding and respect. And, as a result, we build better communities together.