This week Petaluma film maker Ali Afshar used the local skate park as a setting in his latest film “Ride.” The BMX-themed action-drama stars hip-hop artist and actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Daytime Emmy-award winner Bryan Craig and Shane Graham from “Boyhood.”
The movie is based on the true story of BMX rider John Buultjens, but Afshar has fond memories of competitive freestyle biking and riding with his friends during his childhood in Petaluma. “Ride” had a month-long shoot in and around Petaluma, using local talent and giving the local economy a boost. This is the sixth movie Afshar has filmed in Sonoma County in two years.
“I think we are lucky – of all the North Bay counties, we have the most active film program and people view us as a film-friendly county,” said Ben Stone of the county’s Economic Development board.
As for what Bridges (aka Ludacris) thinks of Petaluma? “There’s been a lot of great hospitality,” he said. “I love the weather and the mountains and the fresh air and I love the wine and the food … what I love the most are the farms and farm-to-table restaurants.”