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Paris Is Burning

Film Screening and Panel Discussion

♦ Abstract ♦

In line with Black History Month, Women’s Month, and Transgender Day of Visibility, CCHU9079 Queer Art, Performance and Cities and CCHU9007 Sexuality and Gender: Diversity and Society are proud to screen this movie live with guest speakers to discuss the film’s impact and influence on today’s globalized society specially the LGBTQIA+ community.

♦ About the Film ♦

Paris Is Burning is a 1990 American documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it. Critics consider the film an invaluable documentary of the end of the “Golden Age” of New York City drag balls and a thoughtful exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America. In 2016, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

♦ Speakers ♦

Jennie Livingston, Director and writer of Paris Is Burning

Jennie Livingston is a groundbreaking filmmaker, known for lively storytelling, nuanced character portraits, and thoughtful explorations of identity, class, race, death, sex, and gender. 

In addition to directing and producing, Jennie is a writer, photographer, draftsperson, educator, and director for hire. At heart, Jennie’s work is about how people create and re-create ourselves, about what allows us to survive and flourish. We are, despite the social worlds we create that constrain us, more mysterious, more animal, more complex, more noble. Qualities Jennie values in storytelling: wonder, complexity, and an understanding of what creates and preserves resilience in communities and individuals.

Works as a writer/director include: Paris Is Burning; Who’s the Top?; Through the Ice; Hotheads. Television: consulting producer and director on PoseFX. Projections for live performance: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters for Elton John.

Currently, Jennie’s working on a first-person hybrid feature, Earth Camp One about losing five family members in a decade, about queer identity and queer resilience, and about walking through the world (and surviving) by invoking the powers of looking and listening. Look and listen for it in 2024. (You’ll laugh, and it will make you think about your own struggles and choices.)

Kier Joy, United States Foreign Service Officer

Kier Joy is a United States Foreign Service Officer with experience serving in Brazil and Hong Kong. He joined the Foreign Service in June 2019. Before joining the Foreign Service, Kier earned a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University. During his time studying, he also interned as a policy fellow for the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration and International Economic Policy. Additionally, he interned at the United States Embassy in Mexico City focusing on human rights. He also holds two bachelor degrees from the University of Georgia in political science and international affairs.

La Chiquitta, Drag Artiste 

Besides constantly entertaining the followers of Hong Kong nightlife, La Chiquitta has also graced other stages, including corporate shows, private parties, university lectures and out-of-town appearances. Also considered a regular fixture in the theatre circuit in Hong Kong, she has essayed several theatrical roles, the most notable of them, being Solange in Jean Genet’s The Maids, produced by RyeT Entertainment in cooperation with the American Community Theater.

She officially became Hong Kong’s first recording drag artist when she launched her single, Tranny in The House, produced by DJ Stonedog and released under Volume Up Records. It was later followed by Party Responsibly, which topped the iTunes dance charts for a week after it was released. Having gained media mileage and traction, she co-produced and presented a reality webseries, Drag It On: Drag Queens in the Making. She later organised Drag Overdose, the grand meet-up of professional, budding, and one-night-only drag queens of HK, for the city’s Pink Season in 2011. Every year since then, her little party has become one of the most anticipated events of the LGBTQ festival.

In September of 2012, La Chiquitta launched her media career as the presenter of the weekly radio segment, Chiquitta Time, on RTHK3’s From Top to Bottom. This paved the way for her own radio show with the same station, The Gaybourhood, with co-host DJ Stonedog, which premiered in September of 2013 and ran for two seasons.

She wrote a contribution to a coffee table book published in NYC, was featured in a magazine in SG, and appeared on TV for a special mini-docu in Manila. Her face constantly pops up in various magazines, newspapers, documentaries, and recently, as the subject for the locally-filmed music video for Give Me Light by UK-based artist, Mind Enterprises. Portraits of her taken by prolific photographers, Tsewhat-Tse (Yale School of Art), Laura Simonsen (HK), The Gaunts (HK) have been on exhibitions, photo galleries and art fairs locally and in various places abroad, the most notable of which, “The Drag Queen Last Supper” made it to the halls of Art Hamptons in New York.


♦ Rundown ♦

12:30 – 2:00pm |  1st Screening of Paris is Burning

2:00 – 2:55pm   |  Discussion and Q & A

2:55 – 3:00pm   |  Closing performance by La Chiquitta

3:00 – 4:20pm   |  2nd Screening of Paris is Burning 


♦ Details ♦

Date | 28 February 2024 (Wednesday)
Time | 12:30-4:20pm
Venue | Rayson Huang Theatre, Main Campus, HKU  
Language | English
Enquiries | genderst@hku.hk 

♦ All are welcome ♦


The event is sponsored by the US Consulate in Hong Kong and Macau, HKU’s Common Core, Gender Studies Programme, and the School of Humanities.


♦ Register HERE ♦