“At the end of the 1960s and beginning of the 1970s, Amsterdam was the countercultural capital of Europe. It was where Suck, The First European Sex Paper was published. Around the same time two Wet Dream Film Festivals were organized. The first was held in the autumn of 1970 and had an international jury consisting of Germaine Greer,Jay Landesman, Richard Neville, Michael Zwerin, Didi Wadidi and Al Goldstein.
The first prize went to Bodil Jensen in A Summer Day. The “Blast from the Past” award went to Jean Genet’s film: Un chant d’amour. The Walt Disney Memorial Award went to Christie Eriksson’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Other prizes were awarded for Peter Flemming, Walter Burns and Falcon Stewart.
The Second Wet Dream Film Festival was held in 1971 between October 20 and October 25, again organized by Jim Haynes. Festival jury included Germaine Greer, Al Goldstein, William Holtrop, Didi Wadidi, Anna Beke and Michael Zwerin plus new-comers Mama Cass, Roland Topor, Heathcote Williams, William Burroughs, Carlos Clarens,Tomi Ungerer, Betty Dodson, Marie-France and Miss Angel. Jens Frosen (“Quiet Days in Clichy”) documented the event.
Lou Sher, president of Sherpix, who picked up “Adultery For Fun and Profit” at the first festival, put up $1,000 for the first prize this year plus a promise of U.S. theatrical distribution. Organizer Haynes told Variety: “What most people don’t understand about last year’s Wet Dream Festival is that we are not concerned with pornographic aspects primarily, but with the libertarian concept. It is an attack on paternalism because it asks why people can’t see any image they want.”
The significance of the Wet Dream Film Festivals were their countercultural perspectives all together. Artists followed the boundaries of art, which is infinite and left behind the self-imposed limitations of modern societies. The Summer of Love was the summer in which art was expressed and given full expression, physical, emotional, societal. From its roots in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco that echoed deep into the outskirts of Europe, Film and Literature evolved as individuality took on new definitions, as the anticlimatic paradigm began to come under siege by the incendiary anti-war protestors, leaving cities for communes, college for hobo life. D.O.P.E. (Depend on People Everywhere), the hit song “The Weight” by The Band, all were indicative of a life of freewill and expression pursued and embraced by many who found monotony when their eyes were opened by the movement. The Rolling Stone referred to the Wet Dream Film Festival as “the end of the civilized world as we know it.”
The Wet Dream Film Festival was necessary for the time and for this time, to rally around art to once again give art its innate sense of flight.