Hump! Film Festival Celebrates Diversity & Sexuality
Have you ever filmed yourself having sex, watched it back and thought, DAMN, I feel like a porn star? No? Yeah, me either. When it comes to HUMP! Film Festival though, they are giving people the opportunity to be that sexy porn star they dream to be or at least be a porn director for a weekend. Since 2005, HUMP! has been bringing short dirty movies, each five minutes or less, to audiences around the United States. These filmmakers touch base on a wide variety of fetishes and turn-ons that make sure to celebrate all colors, ages, genders and sexualities. Don’t like what you’re viewing? No worries because the short flicks are only five minutes long, but you take in what other people find hot, which is why HUMP! is so sex-positive. The making and sharing of porn. A beautiful thing!
Dan Savage, the curator of HUMP! and also known for his sex advice column, Savage Love, admitted that starting an amateur porn festival was kind of a joke. He made a full page advertisement in a small Seattle newspaper just to see what they would get in return. The submissions they received were overwhelming, covering all subjects: straight sex, gay sex, trans sex, funny sexual situations, and an abundance of fetishes. This was when Dan knew that a sex-positive event should be created to celebrate these individuals’ creative sexual creations.
It has been said that first time HUMP! attendees are somewhat shocked. Think about it. You are in a room with a cluster of strangers not knowing what sexual concoction someone has thought up about to be presented to you. It’s an experience! Cell phones are forbidden at the festival, and knowing that the films are destroyed after filming gives everyone that piece of mind that they were a porn star or porn director for a short period of time. Joe down the street, the drag queen performing at the club on a Friday night, stay at home moms, the hipster coffee barista…no matter who you are, what you look like, what your sexual preference or gender is and no matter how goofy or kinky you may be, HUMP! is willing to accept you.
I recently spoke with Caroline, the marketing director of HUMP! Film Festival. She answered a few questions for us to better understand what HUMP! is truly about.
Q: We absolutely dig the idea of Hump! Film Festival, but what set off the urge to get Hump! Film Festival going?
A: It really started as Dan Savage and his colleagues sitting around and joking that it would be funny to have an amateur porn festival and call it HUMP. When the entries started pouring in and the tickets started selling, we stopped laughing and started taking it seriously!
Q: Congratulations for the consecutive years! Why do you think it’s caught on with people so much?
A: I think a lot people are looking for authentic experiences when it comes to sex and sexuality. HUMP speaks to people who want to laugh, get turned on, squirm a little bit, and celebrate their humanity. You’re in a room with a bunch of strangers watching all different kinds of sex, genders, ethnicities and kinks. People learn as much as they laugh!
Q: Again, because this is such a sex positive unique thing, of course there are people out there who are negative. Did you ever receive any negative backlash for Hump! and if so how did you handle it?
A: Not really. The great thing about HUMP is that if you don’t like something, it’s over in 5 minutes. Five minutes max keeps HUMP interesting and tolerable to everyone. The only negative backlash we ever receive is people who haven’t felt represented in the films over the years. We’ve worked hard to change that and think we’re doing a progressively better job at making this festival as inclusive as possible. But as we say, “HUMP can only come if you do!” Meaning, if you don’t see what represents you on the screen, it may be time for you to make a film of your own!
Q: What does your audience usually look like? Do you have a wide range of sexes and a good male to female ratio?
A: Our audiences are fantastic and range wildly. It’s what makes HUMP so much fun to produce, because our audiences make up such a diversity of people. Everyone is there to have a good time and everyone leaves with a big smile on their face.
Q: How do the movies get recognized by you and how do you pick them? Is there anything off limits?
A: We are always looking for diversity within gender, ethnicity, kinks, etc. We’re looking for authenticity and bravery and things that turn us on. The only things off limits are minors, animals, and poop.
Q: After seeing how many short porn flicks, do you think there’s a few guidelines to what makes a good porn or any secrets?
A: Be yourself. Have fun. Be vulnerable. Be brave. Try not to take yourself too seriously. And know that the jury and our audiences are there to be turned on and have a good time first and foremost.
Q: Are the film creators present at each show? If not, do they ever get curious and ask how their film is being taken by the audience while you travel city to city? Like a little, “Hey, how my doin?”
A: Yes! Film makers are present for whatever show they want to come to!
Q: Five words to describe Hump!?
A: Surprising, Brave, Exciting, Hilarious, SEXY-AS-HELL!
Q: Lastly, why do you think it’s good for people to come together for HUMP! besides the fact that porn’s great?
A: HUMP! is the people’s porn. Everyone being together in the dark watching so many different kinds of sex—gasping in surprise, laughing, squirming, being genuinely turned on—is incredibly equalizing and makes you feel completely and shamelessly human—and sexy!
Keep an eye out for HUMP! Film Festival coming to a city near you!