Screening of Ukrainian film ‘Julia Blue’ to raise money for refugees
A series of concerts and film screenings will be helping to raise money for Ukrainian refugees. And for the organizer of the event, and many of the participants, the mission is deeply personal.
“I have this instinct to scream…these are beautiful people, just hear their stories,” says Olga Levina.
Born in Ukraine and now artistic director of Jersey City Theatre Center, Levina is making a mission of presenting Ukrainian culture, most recently with concerts. Next week there will also be a screening of the film "Julia Blue" by Ukrainian American filmmaker Roxy Toporowych.
“This is something I thought I would never I would see in my entire life. I mean, this is truly meaningful to me,” Toporowych says.
“Julia Blue” was filmed in Ukraine. It tells a love story between a photographer and a Ukrainian soldier. It was written and directed by Toporowych, whose parents are World War II-era Ukrainian refugees. She feels the invasion of Ukraine has drawn international attention to the country's cultural contributions.
"As a Ukrainian American and as somebody who has close ties to Ukraine, I always felt that we were like the underdogs that nobody paid attention to,” Toporowych says.
The screening of “Julia Blue” will be held next Thursday. The screening will raise money for refugee assistance.
Levina says she also wants to draw more attention to artists within Ukraine, who are now at risk.
"You kill the artist, you kill the soul, and that's where it gets dangerous,” Levina says.
Information about the screening can be found on the Jersey City Theatre Center website.