Porn Becoming the Darling of Documentaries

May 25, 2012 9:00 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — Porn is fast becoming the darling of documentary filmmakers.

What with the recent release of Deborah Anderson’s adult film star documentary “Aroused: The Lost Sensuality of a Woman” and just last week the announcement of feature-length film, “After Porn Ends,” mainstream’s fascination with the adult industry is reaching fever pitch.

Whether it’s the ease of making movies thanks to new technology, the increased acceptance of porn in the mainstream, or simply the sexiness of the subject matter (and the potential financial pay off from porn loving consumers) new filmmakers are embracing porn as subject matter.

And the rise of crowdfunding websites, where money is raised from everyday investors, is making their jobs even easier.

In March, the producers of “Public Sex, Private Lives” — a documentary on BDSM performers and website Kink.com were seeking $22,000 for post-production and festival submissions to complete their film.

In late April, the movie received 330 backers and raised more than $33,000 from Kickstarter.com — $10,000 more than it asked for.

After being rejected by Kickstarter.com for not meeting its criteria, another fundraising campaign was launched by producers — this time with IndieGoGo.com —  for the already in-production documentary “Staying Power: The Business and Value of the Adult Entertainment Industry.” This campaign offered everyday investors a variety of adult entertainment prizes.

On May 21, another new mainstream documentary focusing on what happens to porn stars after they leave the industry was set to debut.

The feature-length film, “After Porn Ends,” by filmmaker Bryce Wagoner includes interviews with 13 former and current adult stars along with insights from a UCLA psychology professor.

Some documentaries aren’t as blatant about hawking adult but use porn as bait nevertheless. Former adult star Nakita Kash was one of three women profiled in "Sexy Baby," a documentary that focused on how the digital age is affecting young peoples’ sexual development.

The film was produced and directed by contributing Esquire editor Jill Bauer and Miami Herald photographer Ronna Gradus, and premiered as part of the 11th annual Tribeca Film Festival last April.

And now another Kickstarter.com porn project has emerged. This time hooked to “family values.”

This is how the filmmakers describe the latest porn documentary: “’Born Into Porn’ delves into the complex dynamic that exists behind the scenes once the cameras have turned off and the porn stars have gone home. It is not a sensational look at the private lives of these performers, but rather an in-depth exploration of the issues faced by the parents and children, both with each other and the world outside, as well as an examination of 21st century cultural mores in a society where pornography has become both ubiquitous and polarizing at the same time.”

But it’s not just the mainstream “civilians” that are embracing porn as documentary fodder.

Adult producer Monarchy Distribution is producing a mainstream documentary to take on the adult industry's hot buttons.

CEO Mike Kulich announced that the company has began pre-production on a full-length, big budget film entitled "Obscenity Uncensored” that will explore obscenity laws, trials, free speech issues, and will contain exclusive interviews with industry vets who have spearheaded obscenity issues head on.

Even porn stars themselves see the "docu-value"  of their perceived "glamorous" careers.

Veteran star Nick Manning recently told XBIZ that his personal documentary, “Droppin’ Loads: The Nick Manning Story," that he's been working on for the last several years, has begun to attract interest from cable networks such as Showtime.

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