Local alpacas to premiere in Christmas movie directed by Petaluma

By | November 25, 2022

Sonoma’s Lavendar BnB farm is house to just about 20 alpacas, two of which starred in a Brooke Shields trip film that was filmed in Petaluma over the summer season and can be launched on HBO subsequent week.

The quiet farmhouse can be a preferred Airbnb and is house to Andrè and Yas Castro, who took the property from dry land to an area vacation spot.

The movie

“Vacation Concord” is a Christmas movie produced by prolific Petaluma filmmaker Ali Afshar, and options “Blue Lagoon” star Shields as a small-town mechanic. Afshar, founding father of ESX Leisure, has made a reputation for himself on the vacation theme because the producer of different domestically shot movies similar to “A California Christmas” and its sequel “A California Christmas: Metropolis Lights.”

The film occurs to have an alpaca subplot, the place Andrè and Yas Castro got here into play.

In line with Yas, her cousin, who knew director Shaun Paul Piccinino, advisable their alpacas for the function.

After seeing footage of all of the alpacas on the farm, Pedro and Napoleon, the 2 snowy, all-white animals, had been chosen – Pedro because the star and Napoleon because the understudy.

Andrè borrowed his neighbor’s horse trailer and drove the pair to Petaluma for 2 full days of filming over three weeks.

There was an enclosure on web site for the 2 alpacas to relaxation throughout their off-screen moments, and Napoleon solely managed to flee as soon as.

“They had been very curious,” Andrè stated. “I’d say Napoleon was the one who was a bit extra harassed.”

Pedro’s massive second on set got here with a scene the place one of many actors has to swerve to keep away from hitting him as he stands in the course of the highway.

“He simply obtained it the primary time,” Andrè stated. “They had been actually impressed with that.”

Though the sport got here naturally for the animal stars, two eight-hour days of filming was sufficient for his or her time within the highlight for now, and for Andrè, who needed to be on location with the pair the whole time.

“I feel there are individuals who simply go see the film for Napoleon or Pedro,” Yas stated.


There are a complete of 19 alpacas on the farm – 4 grownup boys, two child boys and 13 ladies.

In line with Andrè, Napoleon and Pedro truly should be separated in numerous pastures on the farm. As an actual understudy, Napoleon can develop into jealous, to the purpose of spitting on Pedro. And whereas the feisty Napoleon has repeatedly tried to develop into the alpha male of the pack, a title that belongs to Maverick, one in every of their smallest alpacas.

“He is the smallest of the 4 however he is the boss,” Andrè stated.

“We’re actually newbie farmers, so alpacas are really easy to maintain in comparison with different animals that want extra upkeep,” Yas stated. “They had been each our remedy animals, as every of us wanted remedy, so that they helped us.”

Despite the fact that the alpacas do not trigger the Castros too many issues, they’ve had their misadventures.

Napoleon and Pedro broke into the women’ enclosure one night time earlier this yr and obtained them pregnant. The Castros did not know till a vet got here weeks later and informed them that Summertime and Danza had been pregnant, after which they remembered the night time the boys broke in.

“Sadly, it is only a pure prevalence,” Yas stated.

Now they’ve Mando and Grogo, who’re solely 3 months previous. A number of of the opposite ladies are at the moment deliberately pregnant and the variety of alpacas on the farm will quickly exceed 20.

“I feel we’re truly at our restrict as a result of there are already pregnant girls, and there are some who’ve had infants. We simply wish to be certain they’ve sufficient area to maneuver round – that is our massive factor, we’re not going to lock them in little areas. I would like them to run and play, they usually do,” Yas stated.

The farm

The Castros moved to the Bonness Street property in 2018, having briefly moved to Vacaville whereas ready for the appropriate land to come back available on the market.

After assembly in Portugal, the place Andre is from, they obtained married and determined to maneuver again to California simply over a yr later. Yas is from Rohnert Park and has household in Santa Rosa.

It took the Castros virtually two years to completely renovate the farm, which had no animals or agriculture after they arrived. Their brainchild was to create an oasis of tranquility for trip rental visitors.

They began by planting tons of lavender within the entrance of the property, on account of its calming and stress-free qualities, however the remainder of the property was removed from completed.

“It was a sense of loneliness, having an enormous piece of land with nothing,” Yas stated.

They began shopping for cattle, and shortly the animals turned a part of the farm expertise. They made a dwelling by serving to to fertilize the soil, which was beforehand simply dry filth and weeds. The couple now have greater than a dozen sheep and two goats, all miniature. Chickens roam across the property at will, sporting a myriad of colourful feathers.