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Dan Savage On Launching Marijuana-Themed Film Festival: ‘There’s A Huge Visual Component To Being Stoned’

New York Times Bestselling author and nationally syndicated sex advice columnist, Dan Savage, is known around the globe for his takes on polyamory, Rick Santorum and amateur porn. But now Savage is throwing his well-worn cap into the ring of a new cannabis-inspired venture: SPLIFF, an amateur film festival dedicated to stoner culture and the entertaining peccadillos of pot and the people who imbibe it.  

“There’s a huge visual component to being stoned,” says Savage, famous for his Savage Love column and Savage Lovecast podcast. “You get stoned and you go to the movies. Or, you get stoned and you binge watch TV. Or, you get stoned and you go lay in the park and look at the clouds. A lot of being stoned is putting something in front of your face to let it roll into your brain. So, we thought, there’s probably a film festival in that too!” 

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Savage, who rose to prominence when he joined forces with former The Onion co-founder, Tim Keck, at the Seattle alt weekly newspaperThe Stranger, is no amateur when it comes to putting on film festivals. The Stranger’s popular porn fest, HUMP, which Savage co-founded, is now in its 15th year and tours the country. SPLIFF, which received more than 250 movie submissions in its inaugural year and will begin its run in Denver in April, is poised to claim similar success.  

“HUMP just unleashed all this creativity around sex and gender,” Savage explains. “It features friends and lovers enjoying themselves and each other, which is different from most commercially-billed pornography. And we just thought, you know, the same way sex brings people together, pot brings people together, too.”  

SPLIFF, which will tour the country, traveling between weed-friendly cities like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, will feature more than 20 original films, ranging from plot descriptions like, “One person. One peanut. One backyard. Only one can win” and “A spaced-out, bizarre ode to hands.” The festival, Savage says, promises to honor both the imaginations and lives of weed tokers. 

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We thought there’s probably a whole bunch of people out there with things to say about pot or just funny things to say about cannabis culture or about themselves when they’re stoned,” says Savage. “And it turns out we’re right.”  

For more information and the full list of SPLIFF dates and films, click here 

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