Underbelly and Balibo actor Damon Gameau won the 19th annual Tropfest short film festival with his entry “Animal Beatbox”, a collage-like stop animation piece that festival Director John Polson described as “an animated poem”.

“Animal Beatbox” took out the major prize after being voted in by the impressive judging panel of film industry stalwarts including Bruce Beresford, Olivia Newtown-John, Jack Thompson, Twilight actor Xavier Samuel, Stephan Elliott, Liz Watts, last year’s Tropfest winner Abe Forsythe and John Polson.

The winning film might have scored well with the judges but reviews by armchair critics on social media have been less than glowing.

Gameau’s film which was also described by Polson as “an interesting and unusual film, unlike anything I have seen”, has been accused of taking a little too much inspiration from popular youtube videos, including “Badgers” by Weebl’s Stuff and “Dog Cat” by EustusComedy (view below).

“Animal Beatbox” is a funny, clever and entertaining clip but – just like the videos it is being compared with – it’s a funny animals-puppets-cellophane-song viral video clip and doesn’t really engage the viewer on a human level or through any kind of narrative. Maybe Gameau just tapped into the real secret to short filmmaking – keep it simple.

“DOG CAT” BY EUSTUS

BADGERS BY WEEBL