Sexy smorgasbord: Vancouver porn festival returns to the Rio Theatre

Mar 9 2022, 12:28 am

The notorious porn festival created by sex advice columnist Dan Savage is coming back to Vancouver to screen a series of five-minute shorts that’ll have you pulling at your collar.

Caroline Dodge, marketing and promotions director for HUMP! Festival, says they’re gearing up for a more diverse lineup of filmmakers than ever before, largely thanks to an influx of applications from people all over the world.

“When people see HUMP! in the theatres or they stream it online, they’re seeing stuff they don’t usually see or things they’re not usually ‘attracted to,’” she said.

“They leave the theatre being like, ‘I had no idea what that was like,’ and think in a more creative and open way.”

 

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The festival started 18 years ago and only took a break from hosting physical events because of the pandemic. Now that it’s back, the staff is eager to share programming that destroys negative stereotypes about sex, pleasure, and the people who enjoy it.

“The films shown at HUMP! are always surprising — they can be hardcore, soft-core, comedic, serious, animated, musical — but all HUMP! films are made by real people, for real people,” its website says.

“HUMP! features people of all ages, shapes, colors, kinks, genders, and sexual orientations, all united by their common humanity and a shared spirit of playful sex-positivity!”

One of the films, 1,000 years, is described as a “solo sensory smorgasbord.” Another, BloodLove, tells the story of “two sex workers [who] connect to satisfy their personal desires outside of work.”

“There’s joy there, there’s celebration there, and people get to see all these different types of sexual expression in their most authentic way,” she said.

Vancouver is a “huge HUMP! Town,” according to Dodge, and they usually sell out of tickets quickly.

“Vancouver is rowdy, sex-positive, energetic, open-minded, always having a great time and lots of positive responses to the films,” she said.

HUMP! had an opening festival in Vancouver in 2019, when audiences got to vote on their favorite films to be toured across North America.

Next year, she hopes Dan Savage will return to host and Vancouver can be included in the opening festival.

If you’re nervous, you’re not alone. About half of the average audience are newcomers, and it’s normal to be unsure of what to expect.

“You’re going to see some stuff that freaks you out sometimes. There’s going to be stuff that makes you laugh. There’s going to be stuff that turns you on, but no matter what, all of the films are less than five minutes,” she said.

Close your eyes or step outside if you don’t like one short, then enjoy the next in a couple of minutes, Dodge suggests.

“People always enjoy it so much more than they think they’re going to because it’s just a completely unique experience. I don’t think there’s anything quite like it out there,” she said.

The live-streamed event will take place at The Rio Theatre on Commercial Drive on March 25 and 26.

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