Former TV3 journalist David Farrier faces legal threats over Tickled documentary

David Farrier and director Dylan Reeve at the Sundance Film Festival.

David Farrier and director Dylan Reeve at the Sundance Film Festival.

Former TV3 journalist David Farrier has received wide-spread praise for his documentary Tickled, however not everybody is smiling about the film's release.

The documentary, which is directed by David Farrier and Dylan Reeve, sheds a light on the strange and surreal world of fetish tickling, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and has since been picked up by mainstream US network HBO.

Tickled is scheduled to premiere to Kiwi audiences at the NZ Film Festival next month.

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During a screening of the film at the True/False film festival in Columbia earlier this month, local police were called to the cinema to remove two members of the audience after festival organisers noticed a recording device and asked the pair to leave.

"We thought that they were possibly recording the film, and because of that suspicion and because of problems filmmakers have had in the past doing a similar type thing, we alerted the Columbia police," festival director David Wilson told the Columbia Missourian following the screening.

"It's possible they work for one of the people in the film who appears to have a very litigious background.

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"This film makes a very strong case that this person has treated other people in very terrible ways," he said.

Farrier later thanked the local police, cinema staff and the film fans for their patience on Twitter.

Following the film's screening, Farrier took to Twitter to reveal what exactly happened next.

"Thought this lady was a fan," Farrier tweeted. 

"Are you David?" I said "yes" hopefully... & then she served me. This is a first."

According to Page Six, David D'Amato, son of late New York insurance lawyer George D'Amato, is now suing Farrier and co-director Dylan Reeve for defamation.

D'Amato argued the film falsely accuses him of "abusing minors, paedophilia, child pornography and abuse of his students while employed by a school".

The former assistant principal and guidance counsellor was previously employed at West Hempstead High School in Nassau County, and claims the grounds surrounding his dismissal in the film are false and that he was "not dismissed from his job for inappropriate behaviour".

Reeve told Page Six the pair "stood by the content" of their film.

"We've reviewed the claims in the complaints. We stand by the content of our film. Given the number of hollow legal threats we faced during the making of it, it's almost refreshing to see a real case being filed by real lawyers," he said.

Farrier told Stuff he was unable to comment at this time.

 - Stuff

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