Sat 4/25 @ 7:30 & 9:40PM
For the first time in the history of the Hump Film Festival, this outrageously unique event is touring its way to the 216! Between Chicago and Seattle, HUMP will make a stop at the Cleveland Cinematheque (the Cleveland Institute of Art’s cinema) to debut the “dirty film festival’s” 18 film line-up for all of us here on the north coast. So mark your calendars for April 25th, as HUMP will be in Cleveland for just one night, with two screenings — 7:30pm and 9:40pm. Turns out, we think we’re more than ready for it! We sat down to chat with Associate Producer, Tracey Cataldo.
How did the Hump Film Festival begin? Who’s behind it? What’s the inspiration?
HUMP was founded by Dan Savage in 2005 along with a co-worker of Dan’s at the time, Brad. “We were joking one day about sticking in the paper a call for an amateur film festival and seeing what we would get in the mail. The question then became, ‘Would people come and sit in a dark movie theatre next to strangers and watch porn the way their grandparents used to?’ And the answer to that question was yes, because the festival sold out. It became a Seattle institution.” (Dan Savage).
Who is Dan Savage?
Dan Savage is an American gay activist, author, media pundit and journalist. Savage writes the internationally syndicated relationship and sex advice column Savage Love. In 2010, Savage and his husband Terry Miller began the It Gets Better Project to help prevent suicide among LGBT youth.
What should people that are coming to the festival expect?
Expect anything. Come with an open mind. It’s sexy, funny, thought-provoking, artistic, outrageous, moving and all very very real! You will laugh, you will squeal and there are even films that pull at your heartstrings, which may leave you a little teary-eyed. Dan Savage will be hosting both screenings live and in-person.
What kind of films do you tour? How hard, soft or amateur are these films?
The films are straight, gay, bi, trans, kinky, sexy, vanilla, big, small, hardcore, soft core, love stories…the list goes on and on. We don’t discriminate. We want to see all of it. Well… almost all of it. We have three rules for film submission: No poop, no animals, no minors.
How many film submissions do you recieve? Do they come from all over the U.S.?
We receive a couple hundred submissions each year. They mostly come from Seattle and Portland since the festival has been running strong and selling out there for the last 10 years. But now that we are taking HUMP on the road, we have started to get a great selection of films from other cities as well. Which is great! In fact, the film “Glory Hole” which was submitted to us from San Francisco took home the $5,000 prize last year for the Best In Show Award.
How do you narrow it down to the official selections?
The selection process is long. We have a “HUMP Jury” which consists of about eight of us who sit in a room and watch film after film after film. It takes days sometimes to get through them all. We select as many films as we can that will fit into a 90- minute lineup. Anywhere between 18 films and 25 usually. (All films are required to be five minutes or less.) Sometimes we have to watch them over and over again to make sure we are curating the best possible lineup with a little bit of everything for everyone. It’s a long and hard process, but really fun and worth the long days.
Have you received any submissions from Ohio? Akron/Cleveland area?
We haven’t had any submissions come in from Ohio yet, but we think that might change after our stop there.
How do you select the cities you will tour? How did CLE get on your radar?
We naturally like to go where Dan has a strong following, but we also get a ton of e-mails from people who really want us to bring HUMP to their hometown. Since there isn’t really any other type of event like this out there, we do our best to bring it to as many cities as possible.
How many cities does the festival go to?
We kick off HUMP in Seattle and Portland in the fall each year. Then we continue on to about 14-16 cities throughout the following year. Some stops for HUMP include: LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Austin, Vancouver, Madison, New York and Denver, to name a few.
What are you most excited about this 2015 film festival tour?
Seeing and hearing all the different crowd reactions. We love hearing loud gasps, or laughter coming from inside the theater.
Is this an over 18+ crowd?
Every city and venue is different but it’s usually a 21+ crowd, although a lot of our screenings are 18+, including Cleveland.