WatchMe star wins 48 Hour Grand National Championship

Stake Out's Chris Parker stars in Thomas Sainsbury's HP48 Hour winner (Time) Travel Centre.
Stake Out's Chris Parker stars in Thomas Sainsbury's HP48 Hour winner (Time) Travel Centre.

One of the stars of WatchMe's Stake Out has claimed the top prize in the HP48 Hour Grand National Championship.

(Time) Travel Centre is the 2016 Grand Champion. The film was written and directed by Thomas Sainsbury

The film was one of Peter Jackson's Wild Card entries and stars Sainsbury's Stake Out co-star and fellow comedian Chris Parker. It tells the story of two call centre operators working for a time travel agency. The quirky story takes a dark turn when someone calls from the future.


As the winner, Sainsbury gets $16,000 cash, $15,000 of post-production time, several free days of sound editing and mixing and more cash prizes to help with making more short films.

Sainsbury and Parker aren't the only recognisable faces on this year's winners list. The runner-up film, Ghostfish: Catfished by a Ghost, comes from the comic minds of Nic Sampson and Joseph Moore and stars Laura Daniel. All three are known for their work on Jono and Ben and Funny Girls.

All of this year's five-minute films were made over a 48 hour period starting September 3 at 2pm. Each film had to include a character called Charlie Flowers, wool and the line 'one more time'.

The winners were announced tonight at Auckland's Civic Theatre, and showcased the regional winners from all around the country. The event was not affected by the sewerage overflow from earlier in the week that forced other shows to be moved from the theatre.

Sainsbury and Parker have written several plays together, including Camping at this year's Comedy Festival and the upcoming The Opening Night Before Christmas.

This year marks the 12th year for the competition after it started in 2004, with famous Kiwis such as Taika Waititi and Gerard Johnstone previously taking part.

- NZ Herald

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