Colorado Film School

“We were just sitting there all huddled up together and this guy from Somalia (who) worked at the airport started speaking Somali and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you guys must be hungry,’” said Ali, a 17-year-old student at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy and Junior Staff at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts. “And he just went and came back, and then got us some fries and talked to my mom and stayed with my mom until we had to go to the airplane, and then come to Denver.”

It was a look and character that Galina Boulgakova perfected. A battered woman trapped in an abusive relationship, or a sexual-assault victim, or a grief-stricken widow or even a prostitute. She dove into those tortured characters, getting into their heads and exuding the kind of heartache directors on the stage and screen in Moscow wanted.