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HBO and Netflix Announce Release Dates for Films Shot in Petaluma

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Petaluma filmmaker Ali Afshar has five new movies coming out just in time for the holiday season. HBO and Netflix have announced release dates for this fall and winter.

Afshar said the Petaluma community appreciates and recognizes his film and the message they seek to share. It represents the underdog, diversity, doing the right thing, and the American Dream.

“I think what people need is positivity, whether they know it or not,” he said. “It’s not just the real world negativity and confusion and turbulence in so much content being published today.

Afshar has three upcoming releases on HBO, two on Netflix, and a new 2023 series, Casa Grande. All were partially, if not completely, filmed in Petaluma.

“Holiday Harmony”

This heartwarming holiday film follows singer-songwriter Gail as she travels across the country in search of opportunities to sing at the iHeartRadio Christmas Festival. Harmony, Oklahoma Her dream was put on hold when Gail’s car broke down in her Springs. This romantic her comedy about finding her true family, love, and acceptance will be released on her November 24th on HBO. Cast members include Brooke Shields, Annelise Cepero, and Jeremy Sumpter.

“Christmas in Hollywood”

A movie within a movie, this holiday movie centers around Jessica, a Hollywood filmmaker and an up-and-coming director of holiday movies. Jessica’s film is in jeopardy when network administrator Christopher arrives to halt film production. She must overcome various obstacles to keep her film on track while stirring up romantic feelings. The movie opens on her December 1st on HBO and stars Jessica Van, Josh Swickard, Riley Dundy, Zach Steiner and more.

“Christmas Mystery”

A family-friendly holiday movie with a mysterious twist: Once upon a time, some of Santa’s magical jingle bells were discovered in Pleasant Bay, bringing peace and joy to a small Oregon town. Today, a few days before Christmas, Santa’s bell went missing! It’s up to a group of kids to find the bell and restore the magic of Christmas before it’s too late. The feel-good movie hits her November 24th on HBO and stars Violet McGraw, Beau Bridges, Oscar Nuñez and more.

“I still believe in Santa”

A romantic comedy that even adults can enjoy, depicting the magic of believing. Tom, a 47-year-old lawyer who still believes in Santa Claus, falls in love. After dating for some time, the holidays begin and his girlfriend Lisa discovers Tom’s thoughts on Saint Nick. As a lawyer, he has pretty sound logic to back up his beliefs even as an adult.This feel-good love story will bring out your inner child and get you in the holiday spirit! I Believe in Santa will be available on Netflix this winter.

“That’s Amor”

This romantic comedy, available on Netflix, follows a young woman on the verge of turning 30 as she navigates the hardships of adulthood. After losing her job and boyfriend and breaking her ankle, a cooking class with a handsome Spanish chef might be just what Sophia needs. A feel-good romance about moving home, finding yourself, and learning to cook. She is one of the top 10 movies streaming in the US right now, along with performers like Riley Dundy, Christina Moore, and Brian Craig.

Follow @aliafsharesx on Afshar’s Instagram for updates, or visit his website at

Emma Molloy is an intern at Argus-Courier. Her contact is her