HUMP! Amateur Porn Festival Launches National Tour, Heads to Austin

Aug 26, 2014 3:15 PM PST

AUSTIN — Amateur all-inclusive porn film festival HUMP! is hopping to Austin, Texas this September after years of limiting screenings to Portland and Seattle.

On Sept. 5 and 6, southwesterly fans can check out the Dan Savage (and colleagues at The Stranger)-helmed kinky, wonky wankfest at the Marchesa Hall & Theater as part of its national film tour. Following Austin, HUMP! will be heading to Minneapolis.

"The idea was [you can] be a porn star on the weekend," Savage told Culture Map. HUMP! culls eclectic displays of sex and sexuality from regular folk, encompassing gay, transgender, kink-centric and full-on weird and silly sex. When XBIZ attended a few years ago, the films were mostly light-hearted in nature, pandering to creative rather than sensual sensibilities.   

Launched in 2005, for nine years the festival ran exclusively in Seattle and later expanded to Portland. In fact, until its recent decision to HUMP! across America, the festival only accepted submissions from Pacific Northwest residents. Now the festival invites adventurous amateurs from across the country to vie for more than $10,000 in prizes.

What makes the national tour particularly tricky, is that, as part of the festival’s premise, The Stanger team would burn all the footage and even the artist's release forms and paperwork to provide anonymity for the entrants. As it embarks on its national tour, the organizers had to retrace their steps.

"It was a long, arduous process," Savage said. "We had to go out and find filmmakers whose contact info we didn't have. Seattle's a small town, so we could track people through friends of friends, and they had to sign new releases."

Savage and the HUMP! crew were eventually able to track down 70 entrants who would allow their films to go national. The curators then whittled down the selection to 20 shorts that, compiled, run about an hour and a half.

"The audience is filled with different people and you have straight guys watching gay porn ... what is really beautiful is they see the similarities," Savage said. "We may have different junk and sexual acts that appeal to us, but all of that is the same — no matter the plumbing — the differences are the same, that desire, the vulnerability."

Photo from HUMP! 2013's trailer.

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