By Bridgette Crosby – Southeast Valley Ledger – Posted January 30, 2014 at 8:00 am

Camera Crew gets ready to film. Bridgette Crosby | Ledger



Young stars smile for the camera in STV.JPG
Young stars, Nicole Criss and Mandalynn Carlson, smile for the camera in STV.
Bridgette Crosby | Ledger

By Bridgette Crosby

Southeast Valley Ledger

On a small farm near Ironwood and Ocotillo roads in San Tan Valley, the production team from Nandar Entertainment and OTR Productions, quietly finished filming the last few scenes for the much anticipated film ‘A Horse for Summer.’

According to Nandar Productions, the film is a story about a 14-year-old Sarah (Nicole Criss) and her parents, Kent, (Dean Cain) and Teri Walsh (Terri Minton) who leave LA behind and move to the wide open spaces of Arizona with hopes of starting a horse ranch. When the economy crashes, those dreams turn to ash. As the family struggles, Kent’s niece Summer, (Mandalynn Carlson) a rebellious teen, is sent to live with the family and causes even more strain as she lashes out and runs away.

A family friendly film, many of the scenes have been shot in the desert in and around San Tan Valley, including shots at the Queen Creek Olive Mill and Way Out West Ranch in Queen Creek.

The film has attracted talent such as Dean Cain (Superman), Christopher Atkins (Blue Lagoon), Terri Minton (Country Strong), Mandalynn Carlson (Machine Gun Preacher), local residents Carrie Ribeiro, Carly Fischer and many others. Horses in the film are also San Tan Valley residents. Cowboy, is a beautiful palomino quarter horse, who stars as Dakota in the film and Spice, is another local horse that stars as Bella in the film.

Tracy Wright, of San Tan Valley based OTR Productions, who is co-producing the film, stated, “We added two more scenes to the movie this week, which we believe will make the film better. We filmed out in the desert surrounding San Tan Valley, so people will be able to see local landmarks in the film.”

According to Wright, the film is scheduled to be completed by June. “We have sold the domestic and DVD rights to film, so the date of release will depend largely upon what the new owners want to do with it.”

Nancy Criss, of Nandar Entertainment, who is directing and producing the film, has been involved in the film industry since she was 13. Criss started producing films about 14 years ago. Criss stated, “This film is really a great example of a family friendly and inspiring story. I am so proud to be able to direct something like this.”

Ken Lemm, a writer from Atlanta who wrote the screenplay, stated, “I really wanted to write something that spoke to people and to families. It was a chance for me to share a story that will really resonate and make a difference.“

For local residents, the film has generated a lot of excitement. Many people in San Tan Valley and Queen Creek were cast as extras and are eagerly awaiting the release of the film.