LAKEVIEW — Put this in your calendar for Valentine's Day — a little bit of amateur porn is coming to the Music Box Theatre next year.
Films from the popular Pacific Northwest "dirty movie" festival HUMP!, started by sex columnist Dan Savage, are headed to Chicago — and Savage is too.
The festival blew up in Portland and Seattle, where some 17,000 tickets to the festival sold out this year, said Robert Crocker, who's producing the tour.
Now, HUMP! is taking 15 of the best films from the last few years on the road. The first leg of the tour will be at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., at 5 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Feb. 15. Tickets may be bought in advance online.
Organizers have been calling it an amateur porn festival for years, but don't expect to see a version of RedTube clips at the Music Box.
They changed the name to "dirty movie" festival to get to the real heart of the films, Crocker said. The festival is diverse. It's unique. It's straight. It's gay. It's bi. It's kinky and — most of all, he said — it's funny.
Some of the films don't even have sex in them, he said.
"I would say the overriding thing is that it's hilarious," Crocker said. "You're going to see things that most people wouldn't click on at home if they were watching porn on their computer."
The maximum length of films is five minutes, though some are much shorter. HUMP!'s 2013 winner, which will be shown on the tour, was actually a 90-second spoken word piece.
Other films include "D&D Orgy," a Dungeons and Dragons piece where a "master's fantasy game gets extremely real" and "Krutch," a film intent on "proving to the world that people with disabilities have genitalia that work just fine."
"We encourage hooting and hollering and respectful comments," Crocker said. "It's a very fun event. People come out of it laughing."
Most of the 100-plus submissions come from people living in the Pacific Northwest, Crocker said, though people from across the country send in videos. One of the goals for the 12-city tour is to broaden the submission base, he said.
And to those thinking about pulling a camera into the bedroom, don't worry about ending up on YouTube. The festival is "very diligent" about not letting the films be taken out of the theater setting, Crocker said.
After the films are shown, the festival either destroys them or returns them to the filmmaker in hopes of only showing the videos in a "controlled setting," he said.
"We guard it very closely," he said. "These are all amateurs. These are all people in the community. Most of them don't want this to be broadcast all over the place."
Savage, who's from Chicago, will be in Chicago for the HUMP! Tour debut to introduce the films and to answer questions afterward. Tickets cost $25.