Skip to content

Directed by Jennie Livingston

United States 1990 75 mins.

“Having a ball… Wish you were here…” is the catchphrase of Livingston’s iconic film, a lively exploration of the “golden age” of voguing and drag ball culture in New York City in the 1980s and the African-American and Latino gay and transgender communities that fueled its creative explosion. First operating below the radar of popular culture, these raucous celebrations became the opportunity for powerful expressions of fierce personal pride and social commentary, revealing the ambitions, desires, and yearnings of a uniquely American community in search of affirmation, acceptance, joy, and love. Winner of the Grand Prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival.

With the help of technological advances and a dedicated team, Paris is Burning is being presented like never before, remastered from the original 16mm elements and, for the first time in Portland, being screened in its original aspect ratio so you can see the film as it was intended through the eyes of director.

Digitally remastered version courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive in conjunction with Sundance Institute and the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project.

Co-presented by the Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference, along with the Portland Queer Film Festival.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.