Year: 1990
UK: ICA Films
Cast: Carmen and Brooke, Andre Christian, Dorian Corey, Paris Dupree, David The Father Xtravaganza, Junior Labeija, Pepper LaBeija, Sandy Ninja, Willi Ninja, Avis Pendavis, Freddie Pendavis, Kim Pendavis, Sol Pendavis, Stevie Saint Laurent, Octavia St. Laurent, Anji Xtravaganza, Bianca Xtravaganza, Danny Xtravaganza, David Xtravaganza, David Ian Xtravaganza, Venus Xtravaganza
Director: Jennie Livingstone
Country: USA
UK: 71 mins
UK Release Date: 5 January 2007 (Limited Re-release - London, ICA)
UK Distributor


First released in 1991, PARIS IS BURNING explores the transvestite subculture of 1980's New York, immersing the viewer in the world of the infamous Harlem "drag balls". Director Jennie Livingston reveals the underground community of New York's minority drag queens - predominantly black and Latino gay men - who invented the dance style of "voguing", a trend which famously inspired Madonna's "Vogue".

Gaining critical acclaim and several awards upon its release, the film's exclusion from the Academy Award© nominations provoked outrage, eventually leading to the re-appraisal of the selection process for Best Documentary Feature. Since the film was finished a number of its stars have passed away, amongst them Dorian Corey, Anji Xtravaganza, Pepper LaBeija and, most recently, Willi Ninja - known as the 'Godfather of Vogueing' - who died last September at the age of 45.

Screening alongside the film at the ICA will be Livingstone's award-winning short WHO'S THE TOP? - a fantastical S&M musical comedy starring Steve Buscemi.