Screened as part of NZIFF 2023

Loop Track 2023

Directed by Tom Sainsbury

A man on the verge of a nervous breakdown retreats to the bush, only to encounter other trampers—and someone or something else entirely—in this psychological thriller, a big screen first for comedian Tom Sainsbury.

94 minutes Colour / DCP


Director, Screenplay


Gabriel Lunte, Jonathan Potton, Tom Sainsbury, Milon Tesiram


Zac Johnson


Tom Sainsbury
Hayden J. Weal
Kate Simmonds
Tawanda Manyimo


Milon Tesiram


Gabriel Lunte


Mike Newport

Art Director

Madilyn Davidson

Wardrobe Designer

Sacha Young

Hair & Make-Up Designer

Jessica Hunt

A fitting follow-up to Tom Sainsbury’s adventures in short filmmaking and 48Hours success, Loop Track synthesises everything we know and love about the cult entertainer into a full-scale suspense feature. As writer and director, Sainsbury is both faithful to the cinema of unease and committed to the genre thrills of watching people in peril—a riveting combination.

Also starring in the film, Sainsbury is perfectly self-cast as Ian, a pasty sweat-ball of a man who has rarely set foot on a treadmill, much less a four-day hiking trail. Convinced a solo tramp will calm his nerves, his solitude is short-lived when he crosses paths with the obnoxiously friendly Nicky and other annoying specimens straight out of the Sainsbury canon. The immediate horror for Ian is having to socialise with these strangers, while his insomnia only serves to heighten his paranoia in their presence.

Taut and tense, with contrasting bursts of silliness and humour, Sainsbury’s film holds its own as a colloquial potboiler of interpersonal fear and anxiety, until its explosive third act, a left-field swing that’s hugely memorable—and best left to surprise.

An audio-described session will screen in Auckland at Rialto Cinemas Newmarket on Sunday 6 August and in Wellington at Embassy Theatre (Deluxe Cinemas), on Saturday 12 August. Find out more about our accessbility screenings at our NZIFF Access page HERE.