The Jersey City Theater Center will host the April 14 screening of “Julia Blue” by Ukrainian American Roxy Toporowych


originally published: 04/07/2022

(CITY OF JERSEY, NJ) — Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) in collaboration with Ukrainian JC and artists from Ukraine and Jersey City, announce a screening of the feature film Julia Blue Thursday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. The screening takes place at JCTC Studios (165 Newark Avenue, Jersey City) with all proceeds directly benefiting the people of Ukraine. Julia Blue (duration: 90 minutes) is written and directed by Roxy Toporowych, a first-generation Ukrainian American. Toporowych will present his film and host a discussion and Q&A after the screening.

Inspired to study photography by the scenes of protest she witnessed in Kyiv during the 2014 revolution, Julia (Polina Snisarenko) has now set her sights on a future outside of her beloved Ukraine. A year after the revolution, Julia volunteers at the military hospital for wounded soldiers returning from the front in eastern Ukraine. Julia brings carefree happiness to their ward. One day, she meets English (Dima Yaroshenko), a soldier who arrived at the hospital with easily repaired superficial wounds and deep-seated emotional scars. A sweet relationship emerges that brings them both closer together, but each has been hiding 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 of the freedoms of our modern world that seem too ephemeral, Julia Blue reminds us not only of the cost of love and war, but also of the sometimes painful choices that freedom demands. With breathtaking cinematography from the metropolis of Kyiv to the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains, the heart and soul of Ukraine is on display with Julia Blue.

“I found myself thinking about the basis of his identity. What makes us feel that we are part of a certain ethnic or cultural group? Are we taught? Where were we born? What language do we speak? How do we preserve our sense of self when our identity is attached to a country whose status is constantly changing? shares Topowych. “I wanted to explore this notion of identity. At the same time, it became important for me to find a way to highlight what I was going through. This was not a war taking place in a distant land. I didn’t just read about it online. It was happening around me in real time,” she adds.

“By Julia Blue, Roxy authentically captures the realities of war. His film perfectly encapsulates the experiences of many young people growing up and reclaiming their identity in a country at war. By presenting Julia Blue, the JCTC hopes to foster a better common understanding of the impact of war on the Ukrainian people and their rich heritage,” said Olga Levina, Executive Producer of the JCTC.

Find more information and book tickets ($25) at and Accessibility measures for this event are available upon request.

Roxy Toporowych is a first-generation Ukrainian-American filmmaker based in New York City. Heavily influenced by her upbringing, her work focuses on stories of independent women and Eastern European culture that she simply cannot shake off. Toporowych’s first narrative achievement, Julia Blue, was inspired by her time as a Fulbright scholar living in war-torn Ukraine. She is a 2016 IFP Narrative Lab Directing Fellow and a recipient of the IFP Gotham Calvin Klein “Live the Dream” Fellowship for Emerging Female Directors 2016. Julia Blue was part of the Rooftop Films Works in Progress Screenings 2018 and Seattle WIP Labs 2017. won numerous awards including Best Film at Anchorage International Film Festival 2018, Julien Dubuque International Film Festival 2019 and Cambria Film Festival 2020 and Best Foreign Film at Female Eye Festival, 2019. 2020, the film was distributed by MeGogo and is available on Amazon in the US and UK. Roxy is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has worked decorating film and television sets for over 15 years. Credits include: Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Other Guys, Saturday Night Live and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.

Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about important issues of our time through the arts. Co-founded by Executive Producer Olga Levina, an immigrant from Belarus, the Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) produces and presents universal yet locally relevant works with a focus on 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.

PHOTO: extract from the film Julia Blue courtesy of Saschko Roshchyn, director of photography

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