Photo: HBO Max
Santa Camp is the new HBO Max documentary about a literal “Santa camp.” Each year, Santas throughout the country head up to New Hampshire to brush up on their Santa skills. Santa Camp follows first-time Santas who aren’t what you think of as stereotypical Santa. Santa Chris, a Black man who got threats from his community for putting up an inflatable Black Santa, Santa Levi, a trans-Santa, and his partner Dr. Heidi Clause, and Santa Fin, a Santa with spina bifida.
I talked to Chris about the controversy surrounding his inflatable black Santa, people traveling hundreds of miles to see him, the need for more diverse Santa merchandise, and what it was like shooting his Christmas Notorious B.I.G. “Juicy.”
I talked to Santa Fin, who has spina bifida, and his mom, Suki about why he wanted to become a Santa, how he felt at his parade, working with family, and his favorite parts about Christmas and Santa Camp.
I talked to Santa Levi and Dr. Heidi Claus about their experience at Santa Camp, how they got into the roles, their feelings during their first gig, and the need for diverse Santas in all aspects.
I talked to director Nick Sweeney and Producer Stacey Reiss about how they discovered Santa Camp, how they felt about watching the Santas at their first gigs, and how Santa can facilitate important conversations.
Santa Camp premieres November 17 on HBO Max.