BURLINGTON, Vt.—The HUMP! Film Festival, created by sex advice columnist and LGBTQ activist Dan Savage and now in its 13th year, is once again touring the country, with its next stop at the St. Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis for three days, beginning tomorrow, October 12, before landing in Burlington, Vermont, on Wednesday and Thursday of next week, October 18 and 19—and attendees can expect to see some moving, insightful and hilarious entries, almost all of them dealing in some way with mainstream America's uneasy feelings about sex and porn.
"The festival features short dirty movies—each less than five minutes—all created by people who aren’t porn stars but want to be one for a weekend," the festival's website explains. "The filmmakers and stars show us what they think is hot and sexy, creative and kinky, their ultimate turn-ons and their craziest fantasies. Our carefully curated program is a cornucopia of body types, shapes, ages, colors, sexualities, genders, kinks, and fetishes—all united by a shared spirit of sex-positivity. HUMP! is a celebration of creative sexual expression. You will see films at HUMP! that shock you. You will see films at HUMP! that make you laugh. And you will see films at HUMP! that turn you on. You will also be touched by the sincerity and vulnerability with which these films are lovingly made. HUMP!’s main mission is to change the way America sees—and makes and shares—porn."
Among the festival's offerings are Desert Pussy ("A very real couple gets it on in Monument Valley, and will have you dreaming of outdoor destination sex from dusk until dawn."); The Alley ("Fine tattooed strangers find an extremely hot way to pass the time between a few spin cycles."); Dark Room ("You might recognize some of the cast of this rough romp. Featuring hot bodies, great sex, and an end you’ll not soon forget."); Pizza Roles ("Pizza roles are always better than gender roles. In this Meta porn on a porn set, there’s no telling what stereotypes will be shattered next!"); Prey ("Set in a post-apocalyptic nightmare, a man tries to outrun sexually charged hunters in this dark, kinky fantasy. Very Cormac McCarthy, but with more whipping."); Dildrone ("'Cool drone,' said no one ever, until these folks equipped one with a dildo."); and several more.
The Burlington showings will take place at the Roxy Theater, 222 College Street, with two shows nightly—but there are just a couple of restrictions on attendees, including no pirating.
"One of HUMP!'s goals is to enable regular folks to direct or act out their porn-star fantasies—temporarily," reports "Vermont's Independent Voice" website Seven Days. "The fest maintains a strict anonymity policy, with zero tolerance for cellphone use in the theater. Savage himself reads the rules of engagement, either personally or via recording, and asks the audience to repeat them back."
But longtime porn fans who attend HUMP! may feel a bit of nostalgia for what used to be the plethora of theaters showing XXX fare.
"To sit with strangers in a public theater watching porn," said young (we're guessing) Ty Wardwell, whose film Breakfast in Bed was runner-up for last year's Best Kink prize, "for a lot of us, that feels pretty transgressive and new."
Tickets for the festival, which will also be hitting Portland, Maine; Missoula, Mont.; Seattle, and Olympia, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; and New Orleans, La. can be purchased here.