PornHub is getting into the documentary game. The popular adult site has announced its upcoming documentary Shakedown about a black lesbian strip club. This will also be the pornographic website's first-ever non-adult project in an attempt to diversify. The site, which had 42 billion visits in 2019 alone, has partnered with conceptual artist Leilah Weintraub for the project, which will debut tomorrow, Wednesday, March 4th. It has been screened at different art shows over the past three years, but it will get its wide release tomorrow.

Leilah Weintraub started shooting footage for Shakedown back in the early 2000s. The documentary is described as "a stream-of-consciousness, nonfiction narrative about the queer women and men who populated the lesbian strip club scene in Los Angeles," during that particular time. Weintraub had over 15 years-worth of footage to edit down into a presentable feature. The documentary offers "a humorous, sensual and informative look at a vibrant subculture." In other words, this sounds like a perfect time for PornHub to step in and offer up their massive audience.

PornHub will host Shakedown for free during the entire month of March and then will head over to the Criterion Channel. By the summer, the documentary will shift over to iTunes, which means that it will get at least three decent chances of publicity over the next 6 to 8 months. As for choosing to work with PornHub, it was really a no-brainer for Leilah Weintraub. The site recently partnered with former Disney star Bella Thorne for her directorial debut and it got a lot of attention. The young actress could not find a Hollywood studio willing to work with her on her project, but the adult site welcomed her with open arms. Weintraub had this to say about Shakedown.

"I feel like it complicates the history of subcultures, like Los Angeles. It reorients your placing of things in that history. I feel like that was my goal, not to put a finger on it, but complicate and add to that richness."

Leilah Weintraub was attracted to PornHub for the artistic reasons. "There's a cool opportunity right now to present films in the art space, there's more openness to diversity and content, and a different sort of storytelling," she says. When a site gets over 115 million visitors a day, there's more than enough of a chance to branch out with something new and exciting. Plus, this isn't the first time that Weintraub has worked with PornHub. She previously worked with then on her Hood by Air clothing line in 2016.

PornHub's brand director Alex Klein thinks they offer a better place for Shakedown than other streaming sites. "This film is part of a larger general commitment PornHub has to supporting the arts. We want to be seen as a platform that artists and creators can use," He said. Klein is very excited about premiering the documentary to a wider audience.

"We've seen artists in general upload content to the site, that might not have a home at places like YouTube or Vimeo, who don't permit nudity." PornHub has the power to get the movie in front of a lot of eyes, so it will be interesting to see how Shakedown does in the next few months. Variety was the first to report on this story.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick