For the last 12 years, celebrated sex columnist Dan Savage (whom we run in this very paper every week) has hosted HUMP!, a less-than-traditional user-made and -submitted pornography film festival. Its roots are small, but HUMP! has grown into a nationally touring event. Now, before everyone starts rallying for purity or whatever, keep in mind that this thing is way more about fun and funny or even deep and moving than it is about straight-up sex. And though we usually don't feature Albuquerque events, we're pretty big Savage fans and think that sex should be normalized and we also like fun and fucking. Huzzah! Hence, we called Savage to get the details about the upcoming HUMP! events at the Guild Cinema (7:30 Friday, March 31; 7:30 and 9:30 pm Saturday, March 31 and April 1. $18-$20. 3405 Central Ave., Albuqeruque, 505-255-1848). This should be hot, y'all.
What's that selection jury like? Like, is it uncomfortable? I mean, people must get aroused...
We have these long debates. We get hundreds of submissions and have room for maybe 25 tops. I have final say because it's my goddamn film festival! It's a really fun process, but it's grueling. People don't come to HUMP! to sit in a theater and masturbate, and it's rare for us to get aroused—we're there to examine the films. It's a humor/film festival; creative short films with pornography as a theme or pornography allowed. Audiences are challenged by HUMP!, and so is the jury.
Do you ever get protesters?
We've had some anti-porn protesters, from the right, not the left. It's only been a small handful. Some guy outside a screening or a bunch of people in Portland handing out fliers about how people were going to hell and I was a monster. Porn is ubiquitous. The idea that no one else had porn before we came and showed it in a movie theater ... When people are walking around with laptops and wifi and phones, there's porn on the bus, in elevators, in shopping centers. We've encountered a few cases where people tried to prevent us from screening. The city of Pittsburgh acutally prevented us from screening, but they already had porn.
Any tips for aspiring porn star types?
Don't try to make commercial pornography. The films that do well are the personal ones that show the people who made them's thing. There are audience winners, and the films that win are the ones that are personal and subjective, not ones that try to appeal to everyone. Have a sense of humor and show us what you're about. The film that won the grand prize features this older couple discussing their relationship and is interspersed with discussion and their lovemaking. They're not the hottest people by conventional standards, but it's so personal and revealing and moving. There's some kinky ones this year. There's just a lot of really great stuff.