Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival, Showcasing Alternative Body-Positive Porn Since 2005
Michael gives us a glowing review of the 12th annual HUMP! film festival, which was composed of twenty-two amateur and DIY pornographic films. Featuring a diverse group of body types, races, genders, sexualities, and ages (all over 18), the group of films challenge commercial pornography. Michael says, "Many of the films are filled with tenderness, sincerity, vulnerability, even humor."

sponsored
Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival, Nicole Clemetson
Image courtesy of Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival. Photo by Nicole Clemetson

“The problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of the person, but that it shows far too little.”
–Pope John Paul II

A sex-positive detour from the world of commercial pornography

The 12th annual HUMP! Film Festival, which features twenty-two amateur, DIY pornographic films – each less than five minutes long — seeks “to change the way America sees – and makes and shares – porn.” You may find some of the films arousing, or not — but you will definitely find them fascinating. They are indisputably a refreshing detour from the world of commercial pornography, which is too often sterile, impersonal, corrupt, coercive, degrading, demeaning, misogynistic, sometimes violent, and unrealistic…. or so I’ve heard.

The films included in this festival from 2016 — which is sponsored by the renowned sex advice writer and podcaster, Dan Savage — by contrast to commercial pornography, do not concentrate upon the *pleasure* of men; they are the creations of consenting adults of many body types, shapes, ages, colors, and genders; and they are relational and, for the most part, realistic, even though many of them stray far beyond normative heterosexual, even homosexual, boundaries. Many of the films are filled with tenderness, sincerity, vulnerability, even humor. And, yes, they include fetishes and kinks, a number of which are shocking and disturbing, but the variety of sexual expression portrayed is mind-boggling, entertaining, and ultimately enlightening.

The best sex, the best humor, the best kink

HUMP! offers cash awards for the film with the best sex, the best humor, the best in show, the best kink, and there is also a jury award winner. For example, the winner for best sex, a film titled “Fuck on the Mount,” features a heterosexual couple engaged in sexual relations on a glorious mountaintop. The winner for best humor, “Birthday Boss,” enacts a hilarious phone sex session between a woman in bed and a man at work, the *culmination* of which is witnessed by his fellow office workers as they surprise him to celebrate his birthday. The best in show — “I’m Not Poly But My Boyfriends Are” — tells the story of a mature woman who enjoys multiple sex partners, at times simultaneously, after a staid upbringing.

Although it did not win a specific award, there’s a fantastic piece called “A Pervert’s Guide to Avoiding Loneliness,” in which a young man wearing a jockstrap and playing an accordion sings about how his long list of kinks have complicated his love life. In another, “Art Primo and the Rainbow Dildo,” an exotic woman dressed as a belly dancer makes love to a rainbow dildo. The festival includes some incredible costumes and devices, strap-ons, BDSM, orgies, a delightful “Forbidden Tango,” and lots of great background music. A number of the films in the kink and fetish categories will make many people uncomfortable – there is blood, and there are films which involve excretory functions (the most disturbing of which, however, is as funny as it is horrifying).

My only criticism of the festival is that there were perhaps one too many films that featured gay men (and cumshots), although a number of them really were quite sweet, and I thought that gay women could have been better represented.

Make America Great Again

HUMP! has been around for the last twelve years, and each year participants are invited to include certain random props in their movies. In this year’s festival, the props were the accordion and the Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” red cap, which the organizers duly apologized for, explaining that the call for submissions went out long before anyone took Trump seriously. I didn’t think the apology was necessary, and was pleased to see that in one of the films someone threw a used condom into one of those red Trump caps that was laying upside down on the floor.

Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival, Nicole Clemetson
Image courtesy of Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival. Photo by Nicole Clemetson.

HUMP!, which features a phenomenal variety of sexual manifestations of passion and love, ultimately promotes understanding and tolerance for different forms of sexual expression. The festival seeks, and succeeds, in celebrating those forms, and as such nicely contributes to making our society more sex-positive.

The 12th Annual Hump! Films are on tour around the country through early November. I saw them recently in Baltimore. The schedule, a trailer, a listing of the full line-up of films, and information about making submissions to future HUMPs! can be found on the HUMP! website. After November, to protect the filmmakers, all of the films will be destroyed. Unlike commercial porn, they will never appear on the internet.

Tags

alternative porn, body positive, dan savage, HUMP! Film Festival

sponsored
sponsored

Moving Artblog Forward - Contribute Today!

Artblog is passionate about art.
If you are too, please help us in our
Annual Appeal Campaign!

Here’s how you can help.

Send this to a friend