This is an archived article that was published on in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.


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.