Thinking Film Sex: the HUMP! Festival and the Feminist Porn Awards

The 2014 took place in Toronto the first weekend in April. Host Good for Her has the complete winners list. Several participants have posted long, photo-filled writeups of the weekend: Ms NaughtyTristan TaorminoJiz LeeChris LowrancePandora Blake.

I didn’t attend and have nothing to add except: read, watch, support.

Meanwhile, the HUMP! Film Festival — originally a local Seattle event, now a national tour — came to New York this past weekend. Founder Dan Savage hosted and did publicity, resulting in this positive preview piece in the New York Daily News.

Savage has a knack for pithy sound bites. From a 2006 local article: “A lot of films were erotic and charming. But we use a pretty broad definition of charming.” And from NYDN: “Usually people only watch the porn that turns them on. At ‘Hump,’ you end up with a room full of straight people cheering for gay porn, and gay people cheering for straight porn. It becomes a celebration of sex.”

The festival aims to protect participants from publicity and posterity.

None of the films is online or available anywhere but at an official “Hump” screening. Not even still images from the movies are being released. After the last screening in this nationwide tour, the DVDs will all be destroyed.

This allows participants to “be a porn star for the weekend, not the rest of their lives,” Savage explains.

An article about a recent Dallas (!) screening also noted the “no permission to reveal the names of the actors or directors” rule.

Part of me is curious to see some of these films and disappointed that I can’t. Another part of me is impressed that HUMP! organizers have actually made this policy work in this day and age.