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August 16, 2016

Dan Savage's HUMP! Amateur Porn Fest Comes to Utah

SALT LAKE CITY—Dan Savage created the HUMP! Film Festival in 2005 as what he describes as a "carefully curated program [featuring] a cornucopia of body types, shapes, ages, colors, sexualities, genders, kinks, and fetishes—all united by a shared spirit of sex-positivity." Each HUMP! Submission is less than five minutes long, and after Savage and his panel of judges looks at them all and picks out the best, the "winners" are compiled into a roughly 90-minute offering that so far has played in most of the major cities around the U.S. Some of the current festival's shorts include I Fist a Grrrl, whose teaser reads, "How come we never get invited to houseparties this exciting?"; Hysterical Bullshit, where "A dedicated but distracted reader attempts to get through Mike Huckabee's Gods, Guns, Grits and Gravy"; It Kind of Feels Like..., where the reviewer agrees, "Yeah ... it kinda does feel like that!"; and Orgies Happening Tonight, where "You never know who you’ll meet at the town's biggest and best orgy." Or as Variety's Chief Film Critic Peter Debruge put it, "Simply put, it’s refreshing to see erotic films in which there’s actual chemistry between sexual partners, where the couples (or groups, as in Dungeons & Dragons Orgy’s horned-up nerd herd) appear to be having fun, rather than working." Anyway, on Wednesday, September 7, the 11th annual version of the festival will be coming to Salt Lake City's Tower Theater, 876 E. 900 South, with shows at 7 and 9:15 p.m.—a venue chosen in large part because it doesn't serve liquor, unlike Brewvie's Cinema Pub, which got in a shitload of trouble earlier this year when it showed the R-rated superhero "parody" Deadpool—and got cited by Utah's Department of Alcohol Beverage Control because ... well, no one's ever made that clear, though the Department's rules preclude showing nudity or sex acts where alcohol is served. In any case, the charges were dropped, but Brewvie's is playing it extra-cautious these days. Plus, Tower has a semi-major political figure in its corner: First Amendment attorney Andrew McCullough, who's currently the Libertarian Party's candidate for Utah Attorney General. "For one night, I cannot imagine the city of Salt Lake would be motivated to do anything about it," McCullough told The Salt Lake Tribune, noting that governments in general are barred from "prior restraint," so while the cops might see the early HUMP! show and bust the later one, in McCullough's opinion, "It's not really worth the effort." "Absolutely bring a first date to HUMP!," Savage told Buzzfeed in an interview. "Often people come with their girlfriend or boyfriend, that they’ve been seeing for six months, or a year, and then they end up watching all this crazy shit, and they have a really honest conversation about their crazy shit: The stuff that they’re interested in, what was hot to them, what wasn’t hot to them, and it helps them open up. Sometimes when it comes to sex, it’s easier for people to have a conversation like, 'Wow, look at what those people liked, look at what those people wanted, what do you think of that?'... "Under the plumbing, under the kinks, under the gender identity, everything is the same: the desire, the lust, the passion, the humor, the vulnerability," he added. "All of those things, the more important things, are the same. That’s the cake, and the differences are the frosting. We are all the fucking cake." To see if HUMP! will be coming to a venue near you, click here. And hey, maybe Salt Lake City's newly married gay mayor, Jackie Biskupski, and her spouse will be among the attendees!

 
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