HBO Tickled, filmmaker David Farrier says, “Journalism can still have a voice”

David Farrier

Follow a reporter’s probe of a bizarre phenomenon competitive endurance tickling, Tickled premieres on HBO February 27th, 2017, at 10pm ET, 7pm PT on DirecTV

By Gabrielle Pantera

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2017/2/27 –“It’s funny because I come from a newsroom,” says Tickled creator David Farrier. “It was going to big changes with all the journalism being pushed out for reality TV. Everyone was just trying to make journalism work and I think documentary filmmaking is an incredible way where journalism can still have a voice. Is an exciting way to tell stories. So I think journalism and alive and well, just alive and well in different ways.”


In Tickled pop-culture reporter David Farrier reaches out to request a story from the company behind a competitive endurance tickling video he once found online. In the video young men are paid to be tied up and tickled it. Delving deeper, he encounters fierce resistance, and the more he investigates, the stranger it gets, leading to the discovery of decades of abuse. The shocking documentary Tickled chronicles his probe when it debuts February 27th 10pm ET, 7pm PT on HBO.

The documentary will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

Tickled, the feature-length documentary debut of co-directors David Farrier and Dylan Reeve. New Zealand TV reporter Farrier and his tech-savvy friend Reeve seek to untangle the mystery behind a tickling torture competition. Videos show tied-up young men enduring being tickled.

When Farrier contacts Jane O’Brien Media, the company responsible for the films, he’s met with a barrage of homophobic rants and threats from the company, making him more curious than ever. The filmmakers are hit with legal threats. Three associates of Jane O’Brien Media fly to Auckland to talk Farrier and Reeve out of their investigation.

Farrier and Reeve track down the hidden tickling studios in Los Angeles. They uncover a vast empire, known for harassing and harming people who protest being involved in these films. They meet journalists Hal Karp and Debbie Scoblionkov, who previously investigated similar stories. They meet tickling fetishist Richard Ivey , who produces his own films. They find former casting director Dave Starr, whose participation in providing young men for tickle torture films leads to the wrath of his former employer.

Tickle film performers have had their lives ruined by an anonymous and vindictive online bully. Farrier and Reeve seek to unmask a bully who has hidden behind the anonymity of the Internet for two decades.

Compelling and disturbing, Tickled illustrates the damage that can result from wealth, privilege and an obsession with power and control.

The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

Immediately following the premiere of Tickled, HBO Documentary Films debuts The Tickled King, an exclusive 20-minute follow-up for HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO On Demand.

The Tickled King features new, previously unseen footage documenting the bizarre and unsettling things that happen to filmmakers David Farrier and Dylan Reeve as the documentary premieres at film festivals and theaters in 2016. Lawsuits, private investigators, disrupted screenings and surprise appearances are just part of what they encounter along the way. Amidst new threats, the duo begins to answer questions that remained once the credits rolled on Tickled, including whether the behavior they uncovered will ever come to an end.

A Fumes Production and Horseshoe Films production. Directed by David Farrier & Dylan Reeve. Produced by Carthew Neal. Executive produced by Justin Pemberton and Sheila Nevins.

HBO is an American cable and television network owned by Time Warner. It is the oldest operating pay television service in the United States.

Twitter: @HBO@TickledMovie@davidfarrier@DylanReeve

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