We tend to hate on Hollywood studios because of the movie projects they choose to fund (Transformers 4, anyone?). So much of typical Hollywood product tends to be huge, expensive spectacles with little-to-no story, heavy special effects and poor acting. So, we at ScreenCrave have decided to help jump behind the indie film. Below you’ll find some of the best indie trailers of the week, plus unknown projects featured on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo that need your help to get made. Check out this week’s picks below.

  • LIFE OF CRIME: In Life Of Crime, Jennifer Aniston gets kidnapped by two lowlifes played by John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def). The film is based on the novel The Switch by Elmore Leonard, and also features Tim Robbins and Isla Fisher. Robbins plays Aniston’s husband, who is suppose to pay a million-dollar ransom if he ever wants to see his wife again. The trouble is he doesn’t. All he wants to do is be with his new, younger mistress, played by Fisher. Life Of Crime is directed by Daniel Schechter, and it’s a sort-of prequel to Quentin Tarantino‘s Jackie Brown. Personally, I think it’s awesome to see Aniston in a film like this one; she’s surrounded by some solid people and the film looks pretty entertaining. The film opens in theaters August 29. Here’s the trailer:

  • HAPPY CHRISTMAS: Happy Christmas is not your typical holiday film. Written and directed by Joe Swanberg, the film tells the story of an irresponsible 20-something named Jenny, who arrives in Chicago to live with her older brother Jeff, a young filmmaker living a happy existence with his novelist wife Kelly and their two-year-old son. Kendrick plays Jenny, while Swanberg and Melanie Lynskey play the couple. Mark Webber also stars as a babysitter, and Lena Dunham plays Kendrick’s friend. The film first premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it was picked by Magnolia and Paramount Pictures. They’ll release the film via VOD and iTunes on June 26. Here’s the trailer:

  • HELLION: Written and directed by Kat Candler, Hellion tells the story of Hollis, a single dad, and his two sons, teenager Jacob and the younger Wes. When Wes gets taken away by Child Protective Services, Hollis and Jacob must take responsibility to bring him back. The film premiered earlier this year at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Aaron Paul, who stars as Hollis, and newcomer Josh Wiggins, who plays Jacob, have both garnered some rave reviews for their performances. Beke Garner and Juliette Lewis also star. This coming-of-age and father-son drama looks like some deep, gritty and compelling material, and that’s what we want from indie movies these days. Hellion will hit theathers and VOD on June 13. Check out the trailer:

Indie Fundraiser Pick of the Week:

  • OUT OF MY HAND: Takeshi Fukunaga‘s Out Of My Hand tells the interesting story of a Liberian rubber plantation worker who risks everything for a new life as a cab driver in New York. 70% of the film has already been shot on location in Liberia. Out Of My Hand is the first film to be made in association with the Liberian Movie Union, an affiliate of the Liberia government. Now, Fukanaga and his crew are hoping to raise funds to complete production in New York, where they’ll need about ten days of shooting to finish principal photography. Out Of My Hand looks like a compelling film, and you can check out some of the beautiful footage that Fukanaga shot in Libera over at Kickstarter. Head over there for more information.

Those are the projects we have for you this week. Be sure to check back every week for our Best Indie Film Trailers of the Week–helping you stay informed about indie cinema.

Which of these projects interests you?