Do the Hump - By Sam Redding
This years Hump film fest was held at Village East Cinemas March 23-25th. I attended the Sunday screening. Fri and Sat were sold out. It was my third in a row so I know to get there early. For anyone who wasn’t there, if you want to attend, I recommend the same. My guest was a newbie and was quite apprehensive about a porn film festival. I tried to assure her that the tone of the evening was hardly the old school porn theater vibe from the 70’s. Still her eyebrow was raised up until the first cute and hilarious film Objectify which personifies the sexuality of everyday objects. She then “got it”.
Humor is the default theme of many of the events submissions. Most people shoot for funny because it’s so universal. With the occasional film being: hot and kinky Paramnesia, an avante garde montage of masked solo play, or cerebral Morning Comes a confessional voice over monologue set to a morning sexual encounter, or visually stunning Connection, a black and white fantasy musical dance number set in a moonlit apartment. All of which must have been insanely tough to shoot on a small budget with non-professional actors. So, hats off to the more ambitious who swung for the fences and nailed it, like Pizza Roles! (the meta porn within a porn film). After watching so many great films you might feel up to the challenge of filming one yourself. Maybe you feel like you could do better only you are concerned about being forever immortalized online? Not to worry.
This years opening segment of Hump featured Dan Savage (creator and curator of Hump) being interviewed by someone in a fireside chat type setting on the “rules of hump”. The main one being, “Turn off your phone! Use it and lose it”. See, the Hump film festival is an amateur porn festival where regular people can be porn stars for one night. Not the rest of their lives. So anyone caught immortalizing the event on their phone will likely lose their phone. All copies of the films are destroyed after the festival. It will not live on in anyone’s harddrive but yours.
The next main rule involves general respect to the performers. No yelling derogatory or prejudicial comments at what you see. Hump is for pleasure and fun and entertainment. It’s not a roast of the performers who, in many cases are slow moving targets for criticism, which speaks to their incredible courage for doing this in the first place. These performers are brave! They know they are not going to make the next X-Art casting call and they are fine with it. Given that, each of them prove in film after film that confidence, is indeed the sexiest quality.
Hump while entertaining is also empowering. It’s a celebration of diversity among culture, race, sexual orientation and gender identity and it provides imagery that you may not be accustomed to viewing. That’s the point of Hump and what separates it from a typical “festival of porn” The goal of Hump is to introduce every audience member to a wide spectrum of human expression and to celebrate both our differences and similarities.
My guest and I got a drink at Lillies after to discuss the films and also what a good idea might be for one. After careful consideration we hit upon an idea inspired by Bed Bugs, the Hump film fests Jury award. So, perhaps you’ll see it in Next year’s festival. Hump 2018 entries are due by September. So write those scripts and cast your talent now! I’ll see you next year at Hump!