2016 Sundance Docs in Focus: TICKLED

tickledNext up, the second of today’s Sundance doc profiles: From New Zealand, TICKLED, David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s most unusual journalistic investigation.

Festival Section:
World Cinema Documentary Competition

Sundance Program Description:

After stumbling upon a bizarre “competitive endurance tickling” video online, wherein young men are paid to be tied up and tickled, reporter David Farrier reaches out to request a story from the company. But the reply he receives is shocking – the sender mocks Farrier’s sexual orientation and threatens extreme legal action should he dig any deeper. So, like any good journalist confronted by a bully, he does just the opposite: he travels to the hidden tickling facilities in Los Angeles and uncovers a vast empire, known for harassing and harming the lives of those who protest their involvement in these films. The more he investigates, the stranger it gets, discovering secret identities and criminal activity.

Discovering the truth becomes Farrier’s obsession, despite increasingly sinister threats and warnings. With humor and determination, Farrier and co-director Dylan Reeve summon up every resource available to get to the bottom of this tickling worm hole.

Some Background:
Directors: David Farrier and Dylan Reeve
This project marks the directorial debut for both Farrier and Reeve. Farrier is an entertainment journalist for New Zealand television, while Reeve has a background in editing and post-production for television.

Producer: Carthew Neal; Associate Producers: Stephen Fry and Richard Ivey
Fumes’ Neal is also represented at this year’s festival with the fiction comedy HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, and serves as an associate producer on the upcoming remake of PETE’S DRAGON. Fry, the well-known British actor/writer, is a Sundance alum as the writer/director/executive producer of BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS (2004).

Editor: Simon Coldrick
This marks Coldrick’s first project at Sundance following cutting various New Zealand television series and doc specials.

Why You Should Watch:
Without giving away any of the twists and turns of the tale: Farrier and Reeve track down a truly unusual and increasingly fascinating story that is likely to be among the most talked about films in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.

More Info:

For Sundance screening dates and times, click the link in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance filmmaker class of 2016 Twitter list.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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