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World Cinema Documentary Competition
What starts as a goofy story for the evening news turns into an act of journalistic courage in the documentary "Tickled." David Farrier is a TV reporter in New Zealand who does "lighter side" stories. So when he saw something about a "competitive endurance tickling" league, he thought it would be just the thing for the newscast. But when his first inquiries were met with e-mails loaded with hate-filled gay slurs, Farrier dug deeper, enlisting his tech-savvy colleague Dylan Reeve to dig into the company, Jane O'Brien Media. The investigation by Farrier and Reeve (who are co-directors on the film) uncovered a slew of tickling videos on the internet, but also a pattern of online harassment against any participants who tried to quit the business. It also brought down a firestorm of legal action and e-mail taunting that borders on the sociopathic. With determination and a dry wit, Farrier and Reeve reveal the harm that can be done by an individual with a lot of money and a vindictive streak and the good that can be done by a couple of righteously angry journalists.
Sean P. Means
"Tickled" has no more scheduled screenings at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.