Summer is known for its big budget blockbuster movie openings, but oftentimes it’s the unsung independent film that tug at the heartstrings and stir emotions, from the psychological thrillers that cause nightmares to the family friendly comedies that renew a sense of peace in the world. Check out these seven indie films in theaters this summer that will captivate an audience until the ending credits roll.
Learning to Drive
Learning to Drive was the first runner-up for the People’s Choice Award at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. This intriguing film examines the relationship between a New York woman and her devout Sikh driving instructor. In the movie, she takes driving lessons to gain more independence so she can visit her daughter in Vermont after the end of her marriage.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Learning to Drive will be released in theaters on August 21, 2015.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, the adaption of Jesse Andrew’s novel, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to a standing ovation, positive reviews and both the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Award and the Audience Award: Dramatic U.S. This coming-of-age dramedy is full of as much clever wit as it is with heartbreak. Sundance is known for screening unique films that suddenly become wildly popular with Academy Award nominations (Whiplash, Boyhood, Beasts of the Southern Wild), which makes this film a must-see for the summer.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is set to be released in theaters June 12, 2015.
Beyond the Mask
Beyond the Mask opened small, to mostly positive reviews, which allowed for a wider theater expansion this summer. This historical action film is family-friendly, which will give it a greater appeal and audience reach. The story of the risk of a double-crossed assassin for the British East India Company finding adventure, love and redemption in America might make this film an unexpected breakout, with its action coupled with a positive message.
Beyond the Mask will open in theaters on June 5, 2015.
Once I Was a Beehive
Once I Was a Beehive is coming-of age film about a teenage girl who is sent away to camp for the first time when her mother remarries a man of another religion after the death of her father. It is refreshing to see a family-friendly indie film with a positive message and some easily relatable comedy mixed in.
Once I Was a Beehive will be released in theaters August 14, 2015.
The Stanford Prison Experiment
The Stanford Prison Experiment, adapted from Phillip Zimbardo’s book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, also premiered at Sundance. This film is based on Zimbardo’s 1971 experiment in which he made his students role play as prisoners and guards. It quickly spiraled out of control and had to be shut down early. Tim Talbott, the screenwriter, was awarded the coveted Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance. While there are some mixed reviews of the film, it being based on a true story kept the audience on the edge of their seat.
The Stanford Prison Experiment will be released in theaters July 17, 2015.
Love and Mercy
Love and Mercy premiered at Toronto International Film Festival to good reviews. It tells the story of Brian Wilson, of the Beach Boys, and the extreme highs and lows of his career and his personal life. The film explores his struggle with mental illness and the battle between his controversial therapist and the woman he loves. This is a must see-film for Beach Boy fans who want to get a glimpse behind the music.
Love and Mercy is still making the film festival rounds and is set for theater release on June 5, 2015.
Live From New York
Live From New York premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival with good reviews, and it is definitely the nostalgia that makes it so special, as it examines the late night sketch comedy television show, Saturday Night Live. The look back at 40 years of comedy, history, controversy and some behind-the-scenes knowledge feels like the closest thing to time travel through the past four decades.
Live From New York will walk its audience down memory lane when it opens in theaters June 12, 2015
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.