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Director Biography – Ira Storozhenko (JULIET)

Originally from Moscow, Russia, Ira Storozhenko is a recent graduate of the AFI Conservatory directing program. She started her career in film with a documentary when she was just 17 years old. Until this day, she finds the biggest inspiration for her movies in the stories of real people. Lover of psychology, Ira is also very interested in non-fiction, nature, and ancient history. Ira’s debut, a documentary short, was screened at the Moscow International Film Festival. Ira’s narrative short “Masterpiece” has played at thirteen film festivals around the world, including Foyle Film Festival.

Director Statement

JULIET is a very important project for me to make. Being originally from Russia, I’ve seen and experienced discrimination based on gender. Some of my LGBTQA+ friends had to leave Russia for that very same reason.

Being immersed in the creative world, I have discovered that many transgender actors do not have the same access to play lead roles as cis-gender actors, but they do have more obstacles and some of them stem from self-esteem and teenage experience. For trans women the chances to play female leads are even smaller.

JULIET is my attempt to break these stereotypes and prove that people can play roles according to how they identify themselves as. In this movie, I am going to concentrate on external obstacles for our protagonist and her ways of overcoming them.

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