LOS ANGELES — Two acclaimed, Emmy-nominated documentaries with roots in the adult industry took the spotlight Monday during the first of a multi-night series of virtual 2020 Creative Arts Emmys ceremonies.
Mark Lewis was awarded an Emmy statuette in the category of Outstanding Writing For A Nonfiction Program for “Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer.” The Netflix docu-series explores one of Canada’s most infamous crimes: the 2012 murder of Lin Jun by Luka Magnotta, who briefly worked as a stripper and adult performer.
Magnotta fled to Europe and was eventually apprehended in a Berlin internet café; in 2014, he was sentenced to life in prison.
“With its deconstruction of the psyche of an internet killer, ‘Don’t F**k with Cats’ is one of the most compelling true crime docuseries that has been produced by Netflix to date,” said Salon.com in its review, while Decider.com said the series provides “a fascinating look at how ordinary people can root out a killer using the same internet tools that are available to everyone.”
A second documentary — one with a warm focus on the adult retail sector — was nominated in the same category: “Circus of Books,” whose director Rachel Mason and co-writer Kathryn Robson were nominees.
That film tells the story of Karen and Barry Mason and their legendary West Hollywood retail outlet, which holds a seminal position in the history of adult entertainment in Los Angeles. The Masons elected to close Circus of Books and retire in early 2019. Rachel Mason revived its legacy with the doc, which toured the festival circuit, and an art exhibition at the Fierman Gallery in New York.
Netflix acquired worldwide rights to the film with Ryan Murphy boarding as executive producer. The film was among the 2020 Dorian Awards nominees for Best LGBTQ Documentary of the Year.
Rachel Mason spoke to XBIZ about the film’s popularity — “Who knew the whole world cared about gay porn as much as we do?” she exclaimed — her family and the Circus of Books legacy (today, it is the location of Chi Chi LaRue’s Circus, the second West Hollywood location for the boutique retailer).
Image source: Emmys Twitter