Fans have had their first look at Tickled, David Farrier's documentary that received rave reviews after debuting at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

The trailer gives us the first taste of the film, which sees the former TV3 reporter investigate the world of competitive endurance tickling and finding some astonishing things.

Read more: David Farrier says Tickled reviews are great (but please don't read them)

The film began when Farrier was sent a video about a weird sport in Los Angeles.


"I just thought, 'This is so great. Kiwis have been flown over to Los Angeles to be tickled, in a sport, they get paid for it,' and it's all like ... 'what?'," he said.

Tickled earned positive reviews after its Sundance screenings, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it "jaw-dropping".

"As (Farrier) and Reeve deal with threats, warnings and nervous producers, Farrier's dry Kiwi humour infuses the proceedings with a relaxed energy that somehow makes the underlying tension all the more effective," wrote reviewer Sheri Linden. "By the time Tickled fades out, no one is laughing."

Screendaily called it "unexpectedly compelling, alternately painful and funny and deeply sad".

But it hasn't been without controversy. Farrier recently posted a photo after he was served with a lawsuit from David D'Amato, the son of late New York insurance lawyer George D'Amato.

D'Amato is suing Farrier and his film-making partner Dylan Reeve for defamation, saying the movie falsely accuses him of "abusing minors, paedophilia, child pornography and abuse of his students while employed by a school", Page Six reported.

Read more: David Farrier faces lawsuit for 'Tickled'
Tickled will screen as part of the Autumn Event run by the New Zealand International Film Festival at Auckland's Civic on the opening night, April 13, with Farrier and Reeve in attendance.