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October 31, 2011

Go Get "Revenge"

If you're lucky enough to live near one of the 30+ cities where the film Revenge of the Electric Car will be showing now and in the coming weeks, don't miss the chance. And if you're even luckier to live near San Francisco, Ann Arbor, Cambridge, Portland (OR), or Chicago, you are cordially invited to walk the green carpet to a special viewing of the film. Tickets are going fast, so I recommend you order them online where available.

Not only is Revenge a really fun and fast-paced documentary (yes, even a documentary can be fun), but it's an important look into an industry that is both a big part of the climate change problem and can be a big part of the innovative solutions we need.  A switch to electric vehicles (EVs) offers us one essential way to reduce emissions and our dependence on oil –- even on today's electricity sources.

On Friday, November 4, the film will premiere in Cambridge, MA ("my fair city" as the Car Talk guys and I would both say) at the Kendall Theatre. After the 6:45pm screening, we'll have a post-film panel discussion and audience Q-and-A with automotive journalist Jim Motavalli, MIT expert Jarrod Goentzel, and me. We've also invited a representative from the Boston Mayor's office and Congressman Mike Capuano (who has a small cameo in the film from a Capitol Hill hearing with automaker executives when he shows  off both his passion for improved fuel economy as well as his strong Boston accent: "Give us the cahhhs that we want!").

EV converted car, Greg Gadget Abbott
This EV conversion belongs to Greg "Gadget" Abbott, who appears in the film.

 In Portland, OR on November 4, filmmaker Chris Paine will be doing a Q-and-A with the audience after the 7pm Revenge screening at the Hollywood Theatre. The Oregon Electric Vehicle Association and other allied groups will be leading an electric vehicle plug-in caravan to the event and free EV charging at the theatre.

In San Francisco at the Embarcadero Theatre on Sunday, November 6, Sierra Club past president and current board member Larry Fahn (5:10pm screening) and Sierra Club Director of Clean Tech Outreach Jodie Van Horn (7:30pm screening) will join filmmaker Chris Paine for post-film Q-and-A's.

The Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club has organized a terrific event in conjunction with the Chicago film premiere on Friday, Nov. 11 at 6pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center. A post-film panel discussion will feature the film's Executive Producer Stefano Durdic, a University of Chicago Professor, a National Public Radio Chicago affiliate reporter, and IL Sierra Club Chapter Director Jack Darin.

Filmmaker Chris Paine will be at a post-film Q-and-A event in Ann Arbor, MI on Saturday, November 12 at 7pm and Nov. 13 at 8pm at the Michigan Theatre. The Michigan Electric Auto Association will be introducing Chris and will ensure that there will be plenty of plug-in vehicles to show off outside the theatre for the Nov. 12 event.

Gina and Chris Paine
Gina Coplon-Newfield and Revenge filmmaker Chris Paine.

On October 21, I had the pleasure of attending the Los Angeles film premiere where a lot of us in the EV industry and advocacy circles joined filmmaker Chris Paine and celebrities, including Jay Leno, Allison Janey, and  Ed Begley, Jr. (no I did not have the courage to tell Allison Janey what a HUGE fan I was of her role in The West Wing). The next night, Chris Paine and I did a post-film Q-and-A with the L.A. audience at the NuArt Threatre, and by a show of hands, there were certainly a lot of Sierra Club members in the audience. After the Q-and-A, we headed down the street to a demonstration of several plug-in vehicles, and on hand to answer questions about EVs were Plug In America co-founder Paul Scott, Air Force veteran Tim Goodrich, and others.

The New York Times chose Revenge as a recent "critics' pick," and the reviewer from TheMovieBanter.com said: "One of the most interesting and entertaining documentaries I have ever seen, Revenge of the Electric Car lets you into the amazing lives of four different people and their perspective on the electric car....We don't rate our movies with thumbs on this site, but both my thumbs here are way way up."

Recently, Revenge received the 2011 Environmental Media Award for best documentary.

To read more about what the film is about, see my blog post after its Tribeca Film Festival Earth Day premiere. Enjoy the show, and enjoy the ride!

-- Gina Coplon-Newfield, Sierra Club’s Senior Campaign Representative for Electric Vehicles

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