LOS ANGELES—Filmmaker Rachel Mason has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a NonFiction Program for her Netflix documentary Circus of Books, which tells the story of the iconic bookstore and gay porn shop that served as the epicenter for LGBTQ life and culture in Los Angeles.
The hit documentary has been drawing rave reviews from such publications as The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, IndieWire, NPR, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.
“When I embarked on the path to make this film, never would I have imagined it climbing to these heights,” Mason said. “I made this film as a tribute to the store, to the many people who died of AIDS at the moment when the community was suffering the most, and as a way to look at my own family’s journey with acceptance. For it to be given this honor is so powerful because it speaks to the value of telling these stories. I hope that this film offers some healing to our world.”
Circus of Books chronicles the eponymous gay adult bookstore that unbeknownst to many in the community it served, was cultivated and cared for by Mason’s parents, Karen and Barry, a straight conservative Jewish couple who became one of the biggest distributors of hardcore gay porn in the United States.
The film has also earned praise from Rose McGowan and Kathy Griffin, who shared their support for it via Twitter recently.
Prior to becoming an award-winning director, Mason is best known as a performance artist who created politically charged work and adventurous experimental performances such as scaling an eight-story building in a white bodysuit and helmet and performing Donald Trump’s inaugural speech in a clown suit as a live-stream when he took the oath of office. Mason has toured and exhibited at festivals including SXSW and Tribeca, and museums including the Whitney Museum, Queens Museum, LACMA and Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art. Her ﬁrst feature ﬁlm, The Lives of Hamilton Fish, premiered at Raindance in the United Kingdom.