Tropfest, the world's biggest annual short film festival, is again mired in controversy, with this year's winner accused of ridiculing gay and transgender people.

There was an immediate backlash on social media when West Australian filmmaker Matt Hardie's romantic comedy Bamboozled was announced last night as the winner of the prestigious competition. In the film, Pete (played by Hardie) bumps into a man at a bus stop named Harry. The twist is that Harry used to be Pete's ex-girlfriend, Helen, before having a sex change operation. The pair re-connect over drinks and wake up together the next morning, a decision Pete obviously regrets. The punchline is that Harry was never a woman: the encounter was an elaborate made-for-TV hoax engineered by embittered ex-girlfriend Helen.