Film Screening & Director Q&A: Best Video and NHDocs present “Shift Change: The Future of Community Policing” Mon., Nov. 4, at 7 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center and NHdocs: The New Haven Documentary Film Festival present a screening of Steve Hamm’s documentary film “Shift Change” on Monday, Nov. 4, at 7 PM. Admission is a suggested donation of $7.

“Shift Change: The Future of Community Policing” in New Haven documentary: at a time when the United States is sharply divided over the use of force by police, New Haven practices an approach called community policing. The goal is to foster trust and open communications, and to avoid excessive force. At its core, community policing is about attitude—police officers who have a public service mentality, who empathize with the people, and who exhaust all alternatives before making arrests and using force. There are lessons here for police—and the people—in cities all across the country.

Writer and director Steve Hamm will be on hand to discuss the making of the film and the issues it raises.

Children’s music: Robert Messore brings his Toddler Tunes to Best Video Sat., Nov. 2, 10:30 AM

Robert Messore brings his Toddler Tunes kids’ music show to Best Video Performance Space Saturday, Nov. 2. The event starts at 10:30 AM.

There’s a suggested donation of $5-10 per family but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

Robert Messore puts on a high-energy sing-and-dance-along program for young children and their parents. Voted “Best Entertainer for Toddlers” in the 2011 readers poll, Messore’s public “Toddler Tunes” program at St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Haven is the place to be every week! The songs are a mix of the classics and some newer songs that folks love. He recognizes that these programs are a place for parents to get together as much as anything, so he encourages folks with newborns through 6-yr-old children to attend.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Halloween Night at Best Video! 6-8:30 PM

Let Best Video Film & Cultural Center be your headquarters for Halloween Night!

We’ll be setting up in the front parking lot along with the Hamden Police Department to help you have a safe and fun night of Trick or Treating in Spring Glen. Popcorn, apple cider and donuts will be served as well as some family friendly spookiness on the TV. C’mon in with the kids or just hang out and have a coffee, beer or wine while little monsters haunt the neighborhood.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Sign up now for Best Cookie Contest, part of Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s Nov. 16 Anniversary Open House & Fundraising Extravaganza

On Saturday, November 16, 2019, Best Video Film and Cultural Center (BVFCC), celebrating its fourth anniversary, will host its BVFCC Anniversary Open House & Fundraising Extravaganza—a full day of festivity, pageantry, and fun for all ages. As part of that event, we will be hosting a Best Cookie Contest, set to occur from 1-4 PM.

Up to 16 bakers will be competing for the Best Cookie. If you want to be one of the bakers, send an email with the subject “Cookie” to bvfcc [at] Include your name, phone and type of cookie. The first 16 bakers to email us to sign up will be part of the contest. You will be emailed with full details once you sign up.

Want to be a taster? There’s no need to sign up—just come to Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s Sat., Nov. 16, Open House & Fundraiser, get a ballot for $2, and vote for your favorite cookies.

We have some great prizes for the winners. Any kind of cookie is welcome!

This year’s Best Video student art contest announced, submissions due Mon., Nov. 4

Best Video Film & Cultural Center (BVFCC) announces a student art contest as part of the celebration of its fourth anniversary as a nonprofit organization and in conjunction with its Anniversary Open House & Fundraising Extravaganza, which takes place Saturday, Nov. 16, from 9 AM-9 PM. Winners in four age categories—Kindergarten to 3rd grade, 4th through 6th grade, 7th through 8th grade and grades 9-12—will receive a $100 prize.

The deadline for submitting artwork is 6 PM, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019.

All submissions must be on 8 ½”x11″ paper and deal with either a movie- or music-related theme. They can be in color or black and white. They can be drawings, paintings, collage or any other flat, two-dimensional medium.

Prizes will be $100 in each age category. The Grand Prize winner will be published as the centerfold of BVFCC’s Open House program book. The other three winners will also appear in the book.

The rest of the submissions will be on display at the gala on November 16. Originals will be on display if space is available. If there is not enough space, the submissions will be displayed via video.

BVFCC has been running the former Best Video as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization since November, 2015. The organization’s mission is to “bring film, music and people together.”

Second Wednesday Open Mic takes place Wed., Oct. 9, at 7 PM

Musicians! Comedians! Poets! Magicians! Spoken word artists! The Second Wednesday Open Mic takes place Wednesday, Oct. 9, starting at 7 PM. Admission is a Suggested Donation of $3-5 to support BVFCC. Poet Karen Ponzio (aka KP The Word) — who writes for the New Haven Independent and has a show on Cygnus RADIO — is the host for this show.

The sign-up sheet will be put out at 6:45 PM in order for prospective performers who haven’t been able to get here earlier to have a chance at performing slots. No sign-ups will be taken before 6:45.

Each slot is 10 minutes or two songs (whichever is shorter) with a 5-minute break between each performer. We have a total of 10 slots from 7-9:30 PM if people use their maximum time. We will play it by ear after that with any “extra” performers getting time as available in order of signing the sheet. While 9:30 PM is the official cut-off time, we may at our discretion continue with performers up to 10 PM.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Support Paint Hamden Pink fight against breast cancer through purchases at Best Video cafe Fri., Oct. 4

Come visit Best Video Film & Cultural Center anytime on Oct. 4 and for every cafe purchase, they will donate 10% of the sales to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer as part of Paint Hamden Pink.

Paint Hamden Pink’s statement:

Breast cancer is a cause that is personal to so many people at our company. That’s why we’re joining the nation’s largest network of breast cancer events – the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. We’ll raise money and awareness and together we can continue to save lives.

The American Cancer Society is an important resource for women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer. We owe it to those women to support the organization that does more than any other for them by funding innovative research and providing free information and services.

We are proud to be participating in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and thrilled about the difference that our associates and their families are making to save lives from breast cancer.

Mark Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series on film noir masterpieces concludes Sun., July 14, with 1984’s “Blood Simple,” the debut Coen Brothers film

In this eighth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, has been presenting four lectures on “A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces.” The lectures have been held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 23. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series concludes Sunday, June 14, with a focus on the 1984 debut film by the Coen Brothers, “Blood Simple.”

“A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces” has featured works by four directors who are new to Mark Schenker’s presentations at Best. In movies that range from the early talkie “M” by German director Fritz Lang (explored June 23) through two Hollywood films of the classic noir period of the 1940’s-50’s, through the neo-noir of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the series covers more than a half-century of noir and showcases the acting talents (in addition to the 26-year-old Lorre in the afore-mentioned “M”) of Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frances McDormand and the great character actor M. Emmet Walsh.

From Janet Maslin’s 1984 review of “Blood Simple” in The New York Times:

Black humor, abundant originality and a brilliant visual style make Joel Coen’s ”Blood Simple” a directorial debut of extraordinary promise. Mr. Coen, who co-wrote the film with his brother Ethan, works in a film noir style that in no way inhibits his wit, which turns out to be considerable. This is a film in which a dying man, mistakenly shot by a woman who cannot see him (and who meant to kill someone else), can hear her shout one more insult at the intended victim – and answer her, ”Well, ma’am, if I see him I’ll sure give him the message.”

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Children’s music: Peter Menta offers “Read and Roll” Sat., July 13, at 10:30 AM

Peter Menta—also known as Wasboard Slim of Washboard Slim & The Bluelights—brings his “Read and Roll” kids’ music show to Best Video Performance Space Saturday, July 13. The event starts at 10:30 AM.

There’s a suggested donation of $5-10 per family but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

Musician and elementary school teacher-librarian, Peter Menta began his career as the New Haven Free Public Library’s first bookmobile librarian, serving ten of New Haven’s neediest schools. He followed that assignment by becoming children’s librarian at the Stetson Branch of the N.H.F.P.L system where he won first prize in an American Library Association contest for best story time using an African-American Children’s Book.

These days, he offers his interactive music and literature fusion: “Books That Inspire Songs-Songs That Inspire Books” to diverse audiences in schools and libraries. Mr. Menta often begins a program by reading an engaging feature story with original and traditional music. In the “Blues of Flats Brown,” for example, he has created songs for children to sing along to which help reinforce the main ideas and themes of the story: Building a better world through friendship, understanding and music. Children engage in a discussion about how to change an enemy into a friend. Children are also exposed to America’s rich heritage of blues, folk music and rock ‘n’ roll.

Mr. Menta has created songs to enhance books by authors such as Tomie DePaolo, Helen Lester and Mo Willems. He also offers a program that is strictly songs inspired by books or songs that have turned into books; such as “This Land Is Your Land” (inspired by the famous Woody Guthrie song). The program concludes with an introduction to homemade musical instruments and an on the spot creation of that uniquely “Made in America” musical ensemble: The Jug Band. Children from the audience are selected to play kazoos, a washtub bass, washboards and other homemade or “found” instruments. The program runs for 45-55 minutes. Programs are designed for ages ranging from four to ten. Mr. Menta can perform solo or with his Read and Roll Band.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

48 Hour Film Project New Haven to host meet-and-greet, screening at BVFCC Thurs., July 11, 5-7 PM

48 Hour Film Project New Haven is hosting a meet-and-greet at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Thursday, July 11, from 5-7 PM. As part of the event, organizers will screen the best films from the 2018 48 Hour Film Project.

The 48 Hour Film Project is a wild and sleepless weekend in which you and a team make a movie—write, shoot, edit and score it—in just 48 hours. Filmmakers from all over the New Haven, CT area will compete to see who can make the best short film in only 48 hours. The winning film will go up against films from around the world at Filmapalooza 2019 for a chance at the grand prize and an opportunity to screen at the Cannes Film Festival 2019 Short Film Corner. The 2018 48 Hour Film Project takes place July 26-28. More info can be found on their Web site.

They kick off their filming weekend soon on July 26th, so this might be the last time to gather and secure cast and crew in a stress free, neutral 48 setting. Organizers will be there to discuss 48-ing and films in general.

They will be showing the best films of 2018! If you missed these last year—or want to see the competition (they have a lot of returning teams)—come and check out this screening!

Nutmeg Crew by Newbreed Films & Podcast
The Road by Platinum Gear Productions
Wake Up! By Stepping Out
Greasetown by Jabroni Studios
5150 Greengrove Drive by Misfit Island Media
The Best Children’s Book Ever by Straight Outta Storrs
Wicked Children by Good, Bad and the Fugly
Betaloop by Connecticut FilmWorks
Synth by Wax Idiotical Films
Manifest by Jester Pictures
A Slice of Chaos by Bounce Lounge Productions

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.