With Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening in theaters nationwide tomorrow, you can expect movie theaters to be jam-packed this weekend with old and new generation fans alike. There are, however, a number of smaller, independent projects coming out this weekend that we like to take the time to shine the spotlight on. The first is a new war drama titled Son of Saul (originally Saul fia) from writer/director Laszlo Nemes (The Counterpart, The Gentlemen Takes His Leave), which received excellent recognition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Taking place in the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, in 1944, the film follows a prisoner who attempts to find redemption by saving a boy he adopts as his son from the furnaces of the camp that he has been forced to subject many of his own people to. Starring in the film are actors Geza Rohrig, Levente Molnar (Morgen, Our Big Time), Urs Rechn (Eight Miles High, The King’s Surrender), and Todd Charmont (The Last of the Mohicans, Strangers). Next up are a couple of action-thrillers, the first in the form of the French film The Lady in the Car with the Glasses and Gun from director Joann Sfar (Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, The Rabbi’s Cat), and the second a new action flick with Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Lucky Number Sleven) titled Extraction. Lady in the Car is an adaptation of the latest novel by Sébastien Japrisot about a secretary who steals her bosses car to go joyriding, only to discover she is now the prime suspect in a murder case after a body turns up in the trunk of the car. Extraction is a low budget action film from director Steven C. Miller (The Aggression Scale, Under The Bed), co-starring Kellan Lutz (Twilight, The Legend of Hercules) and Gina Carano (Fast & Furious 6, Deadpool), that follows the son of a captured CIA operative who decides to initiate his own rescue mission after the government refuses to conduct a rescue operation. The last release is a new documentary Noma My Perfect Storm featuring award-winning chef Rene Redzepi, who discusses her success with her Copenhagen-based restaurant (Noma) and her personal philosophy on the culinary arts that has contributed to her success. All of these sound like they’ll be pretty promising, so if you’re looking for a nice Star Wars alternative this weekend, check your local theater listings for showtimes for these features. Enjoy!