Not Shady...Just FIERCE!


With Jennie Livingston & Junior Labeija
For the first time ever, Jennie Livingston and Junior Labeija come together on stage to discuss the legendary documentary Paris is Burning.
In a discussion moderated by Ali Forney Center executive director Carl Siciliano, following a screening of an original print of the  film, Livingston and Labeija will reveal how their lives intersected in the creation of this landmark film, and discuss the ballroom community of the 1980's that it so brilliantly documented.
Paris is Burning  won a 1991 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, as well as the New York Film Critics Circle and National Film Critics’ Circle awards for Best Documentary. Years later, in a 2012 PBS blogpoll called The Greatest Documentaries of All Time,  Paris got the most votes of any film. Now considered a classic film, it’s a go-to cultural work when professors and curators want to talk about race, class, gender, and the construction of identity. Finally, Paris has been embraced by generations of queer kids and activists; when the NYC group FIERCE! planned its first-ever screening on the Manhattan piers, they chose Paris is Burning. Key to the film’s cultural analysis and multi-generational appeal is the ballroom commentary and audio analysis of James L. Goode JrAKA Junior Labeija.
Jennie Livingston’s first film was Paris is Burning. Her body of work includes Who’s the Top?, Through the Ice, and Hotheads. Through the Ice, about an incident in Prospect Park, Brooklyn,  was commissioned for WNET’s program Reel New York and screened at Sundance; Who’s the Top?, a short sex comedy starring Marin Hinkle, Steve Buscemi, Shelly Mars, 24 dancers, and the choreography of John Carrafa, premiered in Berlin and played at over 100 film festivals: The LA Times called it “witty and accomplished.” Livingston is in post-production on a nonfiction feature, Earth Camp One, and has written, and is producing, a dramatic feature, Prenzlauer Berg. 
Junior Labeija is a seminal icon in New York City's ballroom community. He was a founding member of the House of Labeija, and served as the leading MC for the balls from the mid-70's through the mid 90's, where he was revered for his wild verbal brilliance. He was intimately connected to other pivotal figures in the ballroom scene, serving as Dorian Corey's housekeeper for a decade, and even being babysitter to the children of Pepper Labeija. He is currently a clinical social worker and works in a residential facility for the mentally impaired. 
The event will be a benefit for the Ali Forney Center, the nation's largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth.


Where: Directors Guild of America (110 West 57th St., NY, NY)
WHEN: Friday, May 16th at 7 PM
For more informtion please email Paul West at

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