With the holiday comes vacation movies, and a few of this year’s favorites were filmed right here in Sonoma County.
Excellent Housekeeping magazine consists of three of local movie manufacturer Ali Afshar’s films in its “The 15 Finest Brand-new Christmas Movies in 2022 to Make the Holiday Merry and Bright” list.
Throughout the previous year, Afshar and his film production company ESX Home entertainment shot three Christmas films in Petaluma: “A Hollywood Christmas,” “A Christmas Secret” and “Vacation Harmony.” All 3 were launched in the nick of time for the holiday by means of the streaming service HBO Max.
“All three of our @hbomax films made the list! Go team @esxentertainment,” Afshar composed in a post on his Instagram page.
The 3 films also made Cosmopolitan’s list of 14 best new Christmas movies to watch, ranked together with “Perky,” a take on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with Ryan Reynolds playing Scrooge; comedy-action thriller “Violent Night;” and the Hallmark Channel’s “A Vacation Amazing,” about the Rockettes.
Afshar’s “A Hollywood Christmas” is a tale of enemies who become enthusiasts. It follows a Christmas motion picture director and her unsupportive network executive, making for a lighthearted rom-com. “A Christmas Mystery” tells the story of child-sleuths racing against time to uncover the secret of the stolen treasured belongings of their town: the jingle bells. And “Vacation Harmony” focuses on a singer and songwriter’s fight between following her dreams and following her heart.
Local areas that emerge in Afshar’s holiday films consist of the Petaluma Women’s Club, the Petaluma Historic Library and Museum, Big Easy and Lavender BnB Farm.
Afshar is a Casa Grande High School alum who typically ventures to Petaluma to shoot his movies. His “A California Christmas” in 2020 was the very first of a lot of his vacation movies and became a hit on Netflix.
You can reach intern Lonnie Hayes at [email protected].