Cropped

By Chris Thomas | Sci-Fi
A group of UFO enthusiasts hunt for proof of alien life at a mysterious crop circle.

A small group of UFO enthusiasts are touring a field in rural England, which contains a crop circle -- a mysterious phenomenon they hope will point to the existence of aliens.

But their tour van breaks down just as night falls, causing stress and unveiling their hired tour guide as a non-believer who scoffs at the group's belief in extraterrestials and sees the crop circles as the work of a possible "agricultural Banksy." But just as tensions comes to a head and the situation begins to look perilous, they have an encounter that reveals the real secret behind the circles.

Directed by Chris Thomas and written by Allan McLeod, this short may be about aliens, UFOs and perhaps paranormal phenomena, but it's also an amiable comedy that pokes good-natured fun at both believers and skeptics.

With razor-sharp wit and dialogue -- and a keen awareness of the foibles of human nature -- the film offers a snapshot of how people can become entrenched in their beliefs and assumptions, throwing down when this almost tribal thinking becomes challenged or threatened.

The performances -- as well as the deft camerawork and brisk on-point editing -- excel, particularly in capturing the group dynamic, with all its quirky personalities. The comedy is often built on moments of misunderstanding, especially when characters are speaking from their soapboxes and not quite listening to one another. The dialogue is rich with funny one-liners, delivered by a excellent ensemble cast who offer richly specific performances that stake out their viewpoint without feeling too broad.

The result is a clever, nimble compact sci-fi comedy that never overstays its welcome. Excellently written and directed, "Cropped" excels at satirizing the line between conviction and dogma -- and points a beaming spotlight on how the truth of a matter may always be more awesome and unbelievable than the human mind, with all its limitations, could ever comprehend.




You Might Also Like:

Iniquity

By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.

Pony

By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.

Sylvia

By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.

Avarya

By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...

Ernie

By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.

CODA

By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I'm Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.