JANE SEYMOUR, ANNABELLE STEPHENSON, NICHOLAS GONZALEZ AND PAUL RODRIGUEZ BOARD DRAMA “PRAYING FOR RAIN” FOR FORREST LUCAS AND ALI AFSHAR’S ESX ENTERTAINMENT
Los Angeles, CA – November 18, 2015 – Golden Globe® and Emmy® winner Jane Seymour (“Wedding Crashers,” “Austenland”), Annabelle Stephenson (ABC’s “Revenge”), Nicholas Gonzalez (“The Purge: Anarchy,” FOX’s “Sleepy Hollow”) and Paul Rodriguez (“Ali,” “Blood Work”) are starring in the drama “Praying for Rain” – the latest feature production from Forrest Lucas and Ali Afshar’s ESX Entertainment.
Alex Ranarivelo (“The Wizard,” “The Wrong Side of Right,” “Born to Race” film series) is directing from a script by Gloria Musca and Christina Moore.
Said Afshar, “With Jane, Annabelle Nicholas and Paul together, there is a really high caliber of talent assembled and this, we feel, will translate to a film that is of equal caliber when it comes to entertaining audiences. Having worked with Alex on a regular basis, we know he has the vision to make this a memorable film.”
Forrest Lucas added, “’Praying for Rain’ continues our mission of telling inspiring and purpose driven stories. We know we have a great story here but of equal importance is attracting a cast of gifted and versatile lead actors capable of bringing the story to life. We are excited to unite Jane, Annabelle Nicholas and Paul with director Alex Ranarivelo and make a wonderful movie.”
When Emma Gardner, a whip smart NYC reporter learns of her father’s untimely death, she returns to her home town to find that the idyllic farming community of her childhood has been ravaged by drought and has become a place tormented by gangs and the ill effects of extreme poverty. She quickly figures out that her dad’s accidental death was not accidental at all. The lists of possible suspects include overly zealous environmentalists, a local war lord and other farmers jealous of her father’s outstanding reputation.
“Praying for Rain” is financed and produced by ESX Entertainment with Forrest Lucas and Ali Afshar serving as producers. Co-Producers are Ashley Michaelsen, Christina Moore, Daniel Carrey and Mark Heidelberger.
The film is the fourth collaboration between Afshar and Lucas’s ESX Entertainment and director Alex Ranarivelo. They previously teamed on the drama “Running Wild” starring Sharon Stone, which is currently in post-production.
Principal photography for “Praying for Rain” will take place in Northern and Central California.
Seymour is repped by Innovative Artists; Stephenson by ICM Partners and Primary Wave Entertainment; Gonzalez by Pakula/King & Associates and LINK Entertainment; Rodriguez by ICM Partners and Creative Management & Productions.
About ESX Entertainment
ESX Entertainment is a multifaceted entertainment company that develops, packages, finances and produces high-end, star-driven commercial projects telling inspiring and purpose driven stories.
The company was founded and is run by Forrest Lucas, founder and owner of Lucas Oil Products, Inc., MAVTV, Lucas Cattle Company, and the naming rights to the Indianapolis Colts’ Stadium, “Lucas Oil Stadium”, and Ali Afshar, the record-setting professional racecar driver, turned actor, turned movie producer (and now all three at once).
Under the stewardship of Afshar, ESX develops/finances/produces anywhere from three to six projects a year across feature films and digital/television series. Budget ranges vary depending on the size and scope of the individual projects. Lucas and Afshar commit capital and resources to top filmmakers and showrunners, enabling them to make films and series that are competitive in the global marketplace.
In addition to “Praying for Rain,” the company’s feature film slate includes the upcoming film “Running Wild” – a humanitarian drama starring Sharon Stone, Doran Brown and Tommy Flanagan; “The Wrong Side of Right” – a social issue drama starring Lea Thompson, James Remar, Allison Paige and Jayson Blair; and “The Wizard” – a heartfelt coming of age story of perseverance in the face of adversity, starring Jon Voight, William Fichtner, Gabriel Basso and Afshar.
ESX began as an automotive performance and racing team founded by Afshar. Under the ESX banner, Afshar raced for Subaru of America for over seven years. During this span, ESX became a 2-time NHRA National & World Champion Team, 18 time NHRA event champion, 2005 Rally America Champion (with Rocket Rally) and a world record holder.
After years of racing and also acting (Afshar’s film credits include “Three Kings,” “Godzilla” and “The Siege” while TV credits include “King of Queens” “JAG” and “NCIS” ), Afshar turned to producing movies and created his first full length feature titled “Born To Race” – a teen action film in the vein of “Fast and Furious” meets “Friday Night Lights.” Afshar tapped into his rich auto racing history and brought dozens of sponsors to support him in this film including, Subaru of America, NHRA, Pep Boys, Injen and more. “Born to Race” surprised audiences and exceeded sales around the world thus, the second producing endeavor in Afshar’s auto based films titled “Born to Race: Fast Track” was green lit. Afshar has a larger role in this film and acted alongside a great group of young actors including Diogo Morgado and Beau Mirchoff.