Portola Valley native Chris Paine, director of "Who Killed the Electric Car," a harsh documentary analysis of the automotive industry's connection to fossil fuels, is back with a follow-up: "Revenge of the Electric Car," which opens Friday (Nov. 4) at the Aquarius theater at 430 Emerson St. in Palo Alto.
There are other local angles: the film features Tesla, Palo Alto-based manufacturer of all-electric cars with a showroom in Menlo Park, and Elon Musk, a Tesla co-founder, and Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard, who lives in Woodside.
The Menlo Park showroom makes an appearance in the film in several behind-closed-doors scenes, Paine said.
Paine will be at the Aquarius theater on Saturday (Nov. 5) for the 5:15 and 7:30 p.m. shows, according to an online schedule.
Paine, who has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, is the son of environmental activists Ward Paine, co-founder of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, and Mary Pearson Paine, co-founder of the science education advocacy group Environmental Volunteers, which has offices in Palo Alto and San Jose.
Along with Tesla, the film looks at the people associated with the Chevrolet Volt, the Nissan Leaf, and the subculture of converting fossil fueled vehicles to electric power.
Chris Paine said in an email that his schools as a kid were Selby Lane School in Atherton, Trinity Parish School (now Philips Brooks School) in Menlo Park, and Menlo School in Atherton, where he graduated in 1979.
"I grew up on the Peninsula and loved it," he said. He delivered newspapers in Atherton and Redwood City and made Super8 films with his friend Roger Gilbertson, who worked on both documentaries and co-founded Mondo-tronics, a robotics parts supplier in Cupertino that became The Robot Store, which was acquired, and that provided nickel titanium wire for a NASA expedition to Mars.
After college at Colgate and the New York University film school, Paine studied documentary filmmaking in a summer program at Stanford University and interned at HP and Pixar Animation Studios.
"Documentaries last in theaters about 10 seconds" without studios to support and promote them, Paine noted in his email."Local support and word of mouth is everything to make these films work."