Now you can use an Advance Gift Form to schedule your support for BVFCC in The Great Give

Now you can use the form below to schedule your gift to Best Video Film & Cultural Center in advance of The Great Give®! See the secure form on the bottom of this post.

• The Great Give® is an annual 36-hour online-giving event to support local nonprofits sponsored by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

• YOUR support—and the support of your family members and friends—could help us win thousands of additional dollars in prizes.

• During the 36-hour giving marathon, visit TheGreatGive.org Website, find Best Video Film & Cultural Center, and click “Donate Now.”

The Great Give® is New Haven County’s spring non-profit online fundraiser. And ours! Overseen by the The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, The Great Give® is part of a 36-hour national charity giving marathon.

This—along with our fall Anniversary Gala (scheduled for Nov. 18)—is our most important and significant fundraising event of the year. Last year was our first time participating in The Great Give® since we became an official non-profit and we finished in first place with the greatest number of donors for a rookie organization (and 12th overall out of about 400 organizations!).

We cannot make this any clearer: Our continued existence depends on your generosity.

Fulfilling BVFCC’s mission of bringing film, music, and people together requires the support of the community.

The Great Give® starts on Tuesday, May 2, at 8 AM and lasts until Wednesday, May 3, at 8 PM. The charitable donations of you, your family members and friends could make Best Video Film & Cultural Center eligible for thousands of dollars in prizes. In 2016, we won an additional $3,000 for having the greatest number of donors to an organization participating in its first Great Give®.

Your donations to BVFCC during The Great Give® are fully tax-deductible.

Please plan on participating. During the 36-hour giving marathon, visit The Great Give® Web site, find BVFCC, and click “Donate Now.”

And pass the word along to your friends, family and associates!

Thanks for your support!

SCHEDULE YOUR DONATION NOW:

Support BVFCC in The Great Give May 2-3, 2017

The Great Give is New Haven County’s spring non-profit online fundraiser. And ours! Overseen by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, The Great Give is part of a 36-hour national charity giving marathon.

This—along with our fall Anniversary Gala (scheduled for Nov. 18)—is Best Video Film & Cultural Center‘s most important and significant fundraising event of the year. Last year was our first time participating in The Great Give since we became an official non-profit and we finished in first place with the greatest number of donors for a rookie organization (and 12th overall out of about 400 organizations!).

The Great Give starts at 8 AM on Tuesday, May 2, and lasts until 8 PM, May 3. The charitable donations of you, your family members and friends could make Best Video Film & Cultural Center eligible for thousands of dollars in prizes. In 2016, we won an additional $3,000 for having the greatest number of donors to an organization participating in its first Great Give.

Our continued existence depends on your generosity.

Please plan on participating. During the 36-hour giving marathon, visit The Great Give Web site, find BVFCC, and click “Donate Now.” And pass the word along to your friends, family and associates!

BVFCC featured on WTNH News “Working for Connecticut” segment

Somehow we missed posting this! On March 30, WTNH-News (Channel 8) aired a “Working for Connecticut” segment on Best Video Film & Cultural Center.

WTNH cameraman Tom Parent came out to BVFCC and interviewed General Manager Richard Brown and Programing Director Hank Hoffman about how we have managed to keep going when most other video stores closed. Parent then shot extensive footage of our venue and edited it all together into this wonderful segment.

From the online post:

The explosion of streaming media turned local video stores into pop culture dinosaurs, except one.

One video store in Hamden continues to thrive by changing with the times.

Best Video and Cultural Center is an archive of over 30,000 movies. It has a cafe and a performance venue.

You can read more here and also view the segment.

BVFCC to host Oscars day brunch and fundraiser Sun., Feb. 26, from 4-6 PM

The red carpet rolls out when Best Video Film & Cultural Center hosts an afternoon Oscars brunch and fundraiser on Sunday, Feb. 26, from 4-6 PM. It’s the perfect event to get ready for the evening Academy Awards ceremony. The Oscars brunch will be held at BVFCC, located at 1842 Whitney Avenue in Hamden.

Admission includes mimosas, a bagel bar, quiche and assorted desserts. Jazz duo Joe Carter (guitar) and Tim Moran (sax and flute) will provide background music.

Each attendee will be given an Oscar ballot to fill out with great prizes for those who correctly choose the most winners. Among the prizes are a $100 Wave Gallery gift card and a $100 Café Amici gift certificate. Drawings for door prizes will also be held throughout the event.

Tickets are $25 in advance—available at BVFCC or online through Brown Paper Tickets—or $30 at the door. Additional tax-deductible donations above the cost of the ticket are welcomed.

BVFCC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people, film, and music together. For more information, check bestvideo.com or call (203) 287-9286.

BestFest Student Films Festival this Saturday, Dec. 10, at 4 PM, FREE

bestfeststudentfilmslogo_bvfcc_webThe 2016 BestFest Student Film Festival screens short films by area high school students this Saturday, Dec. 10, starting at 4 pm. The event—the first in what is planned as an annual event— will be held at Best Video Film & Cultural Center at 1842 Whitney Avenue in Hamden. BestFest Student Films is a project of BVFCC.

The event is free and open to the public.

BestFest Student Films was created to showcase films by area high school students. The festival is open to all high school students from New Haven, Connecticut, and adjacent communities (East Haven, West Haven, Hamden, North Haven, Woodbridge, and Orange).

Among the schools represented in the festival are Wilbur Cross High School and Metropolitan Business Academy in New Haven and East Haven High School.

Local professional documentary filmmaker Brendan Toller will give a keynote address. Toller’s second film was picked up by Magnolia Pictures for worldwide distribution this year and was the inaugural offering of Arthouse Theater Day in September. “Danny Says” documents the life and times of Danny Fields, the first manager of The Ramones and a key figure in the 1960s New York City rock counterculture.

Beyond presenting students’ films, the festival serves as an educational resource for student filmmakers. BestFest Student Films presented workshops for students in June and November covering topics including pre-production, lighting, capturing good audio, and effective storytelling techniques.

For more information, call (203) 287-9286 or email BestFest Student Films at bestfeststudentfilms@bestvideo.com. BestFest Student Films can also be contacted through Twitter at @BestFestFilms. Information is also available at www.bestvideo.com/student-film-festival/.

Support BVFCC on #GivingTuesday—matching funds make YOUR gift go farther!

november29_copy_webThanks to the generous support of key Best Video Film & Cultural Center members, we have raised $15,000 in matching funds as an incentive for others to pitch in!

A great time to show your support with a tax-deductible donation is this Tuesday, Nov. 29, Giving Tuesday. #GivingTuesday is held the first Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgving. Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation.

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

Matching funds make your tax-deductible donation go farther. But they also are available to encourage BVFCC supporters who haven’t yet joined one of the new Movie Plans to do so. The plans, which are already being enjoyed by several hundred area families, allow members to pay a flat fee on either a monthly or annual basis rather than a charge per rental. Unlike the original Best Video rental plans, there are no late fees with the 1 Movie Plan ($10 per month, or $108 for a year), 2 Movie Plan ($20 per month, or $216 for a year) and 4 Movie Plans ($30 per month, or $324 for a year).

To make a tax-deductible donation to support Best Video Film & Cultural Center this #GivingTuesday, click here.

To support BVFCC by joining one of the plans, click here. (The monthly rental plans are NOT tax-deductible.)

Of course, you can also make a donation and/or join one of the plans by coming down to BVFCC at 1842 Whitney Ave.

Thanks for your support!

BVFCC First Anniversary Gala Concert & Benefit Thurs., Nov. 10, at The Ballroom at The Outer Space

anniversary_gala_graphic_webPlease join us on Thursday, November 10, 2016, from 7—10 PM, in celebration of the first anniversary of Best Video Film and Cultural Center (BVFCC), a non-profit created to preserve Best Video’s rich archive and explore new ways to bring people, film, and music together. On November 1, 2016, BVFCC purchased Best Video from founder Hank Paper and began running it as a cultural non-profit. The celebration will take place at The Ballroom at The Outer Space in Hamden.

• A lineup of superb local artists have offered to donate their talent for this event: jazz group Jeff Fuller & Friends, indie rock group Mercy Choir, roots rock trio The Bandidos and swing/blues group The Red Hots.

• We will be showing some locally made short films.

• There will also be munchies—wings, cheese platter, veggies and hummus, bruschetta.

Tickets are $25 but please consider making a donation over and above that amount. Supporters who donate over $100 will receive complimentary admission to the show. Donations in excess of the value of admission are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets.

Or, you can purchase tickets at BVFCC at 1842 Whitney Avenue in Hamden. Tickets will also be available at the door. If you can afford to make a donation over and above the ticket price, it is both tax-deductible and much appreciate. It is support like that which has enabled us to maintain the archive and expand our programming!

In the past year:

• BVFCC was officially recognized as a tax-deductible non-profit by the IRS.

• We have increased our programming with over 120 music events; more film screenings with larger turnouts and great discussions;more lectures on films by Yale Prof. Mark Schenker; and increased use of the Performance Space by community groups.

• We have organized a film festival — BestFest Student Films — to showcase the work of local high school students this fall.

Steve Rodgers, owner of The Space and The Outer Space, has generously donated use of The Ballroom for our inaugural event.

About BVFCC

Best Video Film and Cultural Center (“BVFCC”) was created to preserve Best Video’s rich archive and explore new ways to bring people, film, and music together. On November 1, 2016, BVFCC took over BEST VIDEO, a valued community space serving Greater New Haven with its world class film archive, performance space and coffee bar.

The entire film archive — one of the finest such collections in the country – remains in place and continues to grow with additions of more foreign and domestic films, documentaries, and television series. In addition, the music events, film screenings and other presentations in the performance space have been expanded to reach a broader community audience.

New Membership Options

Our goal is to bring good movies and good people together.  For customers who like the way we do that now, nothing will change. For just a few dollars, you will still be able to rent any movie in our archive. However, we now offer new membership formats that we believe better serve BEST VIDEO’s diverse customers and provide more value and simpler access to our expansive archive.

Our Success Depends on You

We invite the support of every member of the BEST VIDEO family. If you are unable to make it to the concert, please consider making a donation. All amounts are greatly appreciated. We look forward to the participation of all of our existing members and are excited to welcome new members to our family as we continue in our efforts to enrich the cultural wealth of the greater New Haven region.

BestFest Student Films to host free workshop for high school students on importance of strong storytelling Sat., Nov. 5, at 2 PM

best_fest_workshop_story_110516_webBestFest Student Films, a project of Best Video Film & Cultural Center, will offer a free workshop on effective storytelling in movies for high school students on Saturday, November 5, at 2 PM. The event will be held at Best Video Film & Cultural Center at 1842 Whitney Avenue in Hamden.

BestFest Student Films was created to showcase films by area high school students. The festival is open to all high school students from New Haven, Connecticut, and adjacent communities (East Haven, West Haven, Hamden, North Haven, Woodbridge, and Orange). Selected films will be screened at the 2016 BestFest Student Films Festival December 10, 2016. The deadline for submission of films is November 18.

Beyond presenting students’ films, the festival will serve as an educational resource for student filmmakers. The steering committee plans to assemble a group of expert volunteers—including film industry veterans and educators—to offer advice on issues ranging from screenwriting to audio engineering, film financing to editing.

As part of BestFest Student Films’s educational mission, BestFest is offering a free afternoon workshop on November 5 to acquaint aspiring student filmmakers with the techniques of strong storytelling. Among the topics to be covered include creating compelling characters, plot construction, and genre conventions—both how to work within them and how to use the element of surprise to subvert them.

In addition to the discussion of the importance of story as a foundation of effective filmmaking, the group will offer an ask-us-anything panel at the event for students who have questions about other aspects of filmmaking.

To reserve a place at the workshop, call (203) 287-9286 or email BestFest Student Films at bestfeststudentfilms@bestvideo.com. BestFest Student Films can also be contacted through Twitter at @BestFestFilms.

For more information as this festival is developed please visit www.bestvideo.com/student-film-festival/.

Film screenings: New England Underground Film Festival at BVFCC Sat., Oct. 8, starting at 4 PM

Still from "The Patchwork Girl of Oz" (written and produced by L. Frank Baum, 1914).

Still from “The Patchwork Girl of Oz” (written and produced by L. Frank Baum, 1914).

The New England Underground Film Festival, a celebration of the best of underground cinema, will have its sixth annual presentation on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Best Video Film & Cultural Center in Hamden, CT. The event will be held from 4—10 pm. General admission is $10 and students with school ID can pay $5.

This year’s festival includes new films from Connecticut filmmakers Kim Mikenis (Hamden) and Manuel Saldana (New Britain), along with a very rare public screening of the 1914 fantasy The Patchwork Girl of Oz, written and produced by L. Frank Baum.

The festival is programmed by Phil Hall, film critic at Cinema Crazed, host of the upcoming podcast The Online Movie Show on SoundCloud, and author of the books The History of Independent Cinema, The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time and In Search of Lost Films.

Best Video Film & Cultural Center is located at 1842 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT; the telephone number is (203) 287-9286 and the website is www.bestvideo.com.

The festival schedule is as follows:

4:00 pm – Introduction by festival programmer Phil Hall

4:05 pm – Please Punish Me (directed by Chris Esper, Massachusetts). A businessman’s guilt over his seemingly easy success forces him to seek punishment for his “curse.”

4:20 pm – Primitive Technology (directed by Bo Price, California). A group of misfits believe they can make any dream come true by using their imagination and Primitive Technology.

4:35 pm – Glen or the Bride of the Night of the Plan 9 from Outer Space (edited by Jesse Berger, California). The celebrated bad movies of Edward D. Wood Jr. are edited into a new tale of a young man who discovers his father is an evil scientist from outer space.

5:00 pm – Lost and Found (directed by Kim Mikenis, Connecticut). In this experimental narrative short, a paper mache stick and rod puppet is the main character, supported by a cast of plastic puppets.

5:10 pm – The Patchwork Girl of Oz (directed by J. Farrell MacDonald). A very rare screening of the 1914 silent feature, written and produced by L. Frank Baum and based on his beloved Oz stories.

6:30 pm – Intermission

6:45 pm – Behind Closed Doors (directed by Manuel Saldana, Connecticut). A paranoid former soldier who believes the government is responsible for deaths in his family is visited by federal agents.

7: 25 pm – Incarnation Shaped My Life (directed by Andy Lindfield, Great Britain). A documentary on Connecticut’s Incarnation Camp, the oldest co-ed camp in the United States, and the impact it had on those that spent their summers there.

7:55 pm – A Sad Tail (directed by Tyler Sajko, Australia). Two stoners attempt to uncover an Illuminati conspiracy while the housemate just wants the house cleaned.

8:05 pm – She Kills (directed by Ron Bonk, New York). When a young woman’s husband is murdered by a vicious gang called The Touchers, she finds she possesses a strange hidden power to aid her in her quest for revenge.

The New England Underground Film Festival is online at http://newenglanduff.webs.com

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Sept. 30. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Sunday, Oct. 2. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Oct. 5. WINE TASTING WITH BOB FEINN OF MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Thursday, Oct. 6. POST-PUNK: GRIST, DEADBEAT CLUB

• Friday, Oct. 7. BLUEGRASS/NEW ACOUSTIC: JOE WALSH & FRIENDS (A GUITARTOWN CT PRODUCTION)

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

• Monday, Oct. 10. FILM SCREENING: “ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN”

• Tuesday, Oct. 11. FILM SCREENING: “ELMER GANTRY”

• WEdnesday, Oct. 12. ROCK/BLUES: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Oct. 14. CELTIC/APPALACHIAN: REELIN’ AWAY

• Sunday, Oct. 16. FILM SCREENING: “DR. STRANGELOVE…” (2 PM)

• Sunday, OCt. 16. KLEZMER JAM (6 PM)

• Thursday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Friday, Oct. 21. BLUEGRASS/POP: JACKSON’S ISLAND

• Saturday, Oct. 22. JAZZ JAM with ALLEN LOWE

• Sunday, Oct. 23. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE MALTESE FALCON”

• Wednesday, Oct. 26. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Thursday, Oct. 27. CELTIC AMERICA: THE EBIN-ROSE TRIO; SINGER-SONGWRITER:  DOUGLAS ALAN

• Friday, Oct. 28. HALLOWEEN SILENT FILM SCREENING WITH LIVE SCORE: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT PLAYS TO “NOSFERATU”

• Sunday, Oct. 30. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE”

• Thursday, Nov. 3. ROCK: ROPE, THE TOMMYS

• Sunday, Nov. 6. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE ASPHALT JUNGLE”

• Thursday, Nov. 10. ALT-COUNTRY: SEPIATONE

• Friday, Nov. 11. FERNANDO PINTO PRESENTS JESSE TERRY & CALLAGHAN

• Sunday, Nov. 13. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE AFRICAN QUEEN” (1 PM)

• Sunday, Nov. 13. KLEZMER JAM (6 PM)

• Saturday, Nov. 19. JAZZ JAM with ALLEN LOWE

• Friday, Nov. 25. BLUEGRASS/NEW ACOUSTIC: DAVE PETERSON (A GUITARTOWN CT PRODUCTION)

New Haven Independent reports on BestFest Student Films workshop “The Nuts & Bolts of How to Make a Movie”

Reporter Tom Breen of the New Haven Independent attended last Tuesday’s free workshop on filmmaking and wrote up a great report for the online journalism site, “Local Filmmakers Prepare Students For Fall Film Festival”:

Now that Best Video has successfully transitioned into its status as a non-profit, the Hamden-based video rental store/cafe/performance venue is looking to bolster its value as a practical and educational resource for young filmmakers in the community. The first major initiative that they’re taking to help realize that mission is through the BestFest Student Film Festival, which will offer a venue for high school students from New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, Hamden, North Haven, Woodbridge, and Orange to submit and present their work.

Tuesday night’s session, which ran from 7 to just after 9 p.m., was the first step in preparing student filmmakers for that festival, bringing together a handful of experts to share tips, best practices, and a wealth of personal and professional anecdotes.

Thanks to Tom Breen for covering this inaugural event for BestFest Student Films. And thanks to our presenters filmmaker Gorman Bechard, Jay Miles (East Haven High School), Robb Blocker (Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School), Rebecca Abbott (documentarian and professor at Quinnipiac University) and Caden Rodems-Boyd (student filmmaker, Educational Center for the Arts).

Presenters Robb Blocker (Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School) and Caden Rodems-Boyd (a student filmmaker in the visual arts program at Educational Center for the Arts). Tom Breen Photo

Presenters Robb Blocker (Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School) and Caden Rodems-Boyd (a student filmmaker in the visual arts program at Educational Center for the Arts). Tom Breen Photo

Read the complete article here.