Schedule for Best Video Fall Open House Extravaganza & “Fun”draiser on Sat., Nov. 17, from 9 AM-9 PM

On Saturday, November 17, 2018, Best Video Film & Cultural Center (BVFCC), celebrating its third anniversary as a nonprofit, will host its Fall Open House & “Fun”draising Extravaganza—a full day of festivity, pageantry, and fun for all ages. BVFCC’s parking lot will also play host to two food trucks— The Caseus Cheese Truck from 12-2 and the Taqueria Cinco taco truck from 4-6 PM.

Everybody is welcome to come and enjoy what Best Video has to offer that day. It is our main fall fundraiser—our main spring fundraiser is the online Great Give in May—and we count on it. There is no set donation amount but we encourage all to contribute whatever they can—and/or become a Best Video Film & Cultural Center member—to keep BVFCC open and running.

There will be a table run by staff and Best Video Board members to meet you, sign up new members, renew memberships and receive donations.

The official schedule for this Saturday’s event:

9 AM-Noon: Best Video Kids’ Music & Cartoon PJ Party

9 AM • Music by Robert Messore

9:30 AM (or so) • Cartoons chosen by Best Video staffer Michael Wheatley

10 AM • Music by Val McKee

10:30 AM (or so) • Cartoons chosen by Best Video staffer Mike Wheatley

11 AM • Prizes given out to winners of our first Student Art Show and display of all the entries

11:30 AM (or so) • Cartoons chosen by Best Video staffer Mike Wheatley

Noon-2 PM • The Caseus Cheese Truck at Best Video

1-4 PM:

1-4 PM • Best Cookie Contest: Almost 20 bakers compete to see who bakes the “Best Cookie,” with two winners chosen by a poll of attendees!

1 PM • Open Mic for Kids 18 and younger

2 PM • Trivia 237: The Best Video trivia contest for all things cinema and cinema-related, hosted by Lena Olive and Paul Reese

3 PM • Music by Jazzphoria Quartet, featuring members of the Hamden High School Jazz Combo.

4-6 PM • The Taqueria Cinco food truck at Best Video

5-9 PM:

5 PM • Rob Harmon’s “Secret Cinema”

5:30 (or so) • Short Films from 48 Hour Film Project New Haven

6 PM • Open Mic for Grown-Ups

7 PM • Music by Vardo Swing

7:30 (or so) • Short Films from 48 Hour Film Project New Haven

8 PM • Music by Dust Hat

8:30 (or so): Short Films from 48 Hour Film Project New Haven

Best Video Film & Cultural Center hosts Anniversary Open House Extravaganza & Fundraiser Sat., Nov. 17, 9 AM-9 PM

On Saturday, November 17, 2018, Best Video Film and Cultural Center (BVFCC), celebrating its third anniversary, will host its first annual BVFCC Anniversary Open House & Fundraising Extravaganza—a full day of festivity, pageantry, and fun for all ages. BVFCC’s parking lot will also play host to two food trucks—The Cheese Truck from 12-2 and the Taqueria Cinco taco truck from 4-6 PM.

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.” BVFCC curates an archive of over 30,000 titles assembled by original owner Hank Paper; presents regular music, film-related and literary events; and maintains a welcoming space for the community. The Anniversary Open House is one of BVFCC’s two most important annual fundraisers, along with its participation in May in The Great Give, a 36-hour fundraising marathon coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Click for an important note from  BVFCC Executive Director Richard Brown!

The day begins with children’s programming. From 9 am to 12 pm, BVFCC’s Mike Wheatley will screen select cartoons from our collection of classic, contemporary, and hard-to-find children’s titles. Musicians Robert Messore and Val McKee will play short sets of children’s music.

From 1-4 pm, BVFCC presents a movie-related trivia contest hosted by BVFCC café manager Lena Olive-Reese and her husband Paul, an open mic for young people under the age of 18, short sets by local musicians, and a selection of short films produced by competitors in the annual 48-Hour Film Project New Haven. For the entire three hours, BVFCC hosts its inaugural Best Cookie Competition. Up to twenty kinds of cookies will be available for tasting; two winners will be chosen by popular vote. Please click here for entry guidelines—the contest is limited to 20 bakers! In addition The Cheese Truck—run by the former owners of Caseus restaurant—will serve gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and other favorites from noon-2 PM.

The evening (5-9 pm) features live music, an open mic for adults, a preview of BVFCC employee Rob Harmon’s Secret Cinema Series, and complimentary hors-d’oeuvres. Guests are invited to come dressed as their favorite movie character from 5 pm on! Taqueria Cinco taco truck will be parked outside for those with a taste for authentic Mexican food.

Finally, with the generous sponsorship of SLC Nationwide, BVFCC is holding a student art contest, children 18 or younger. Submissions are due by Monday, Nov. 5—more details are available here. The winning entries—in four age categories—will be printed in the event program book and displayed throughout the day. The rest of the submissions will be on display at the gala on November 17. Originals will be on display if space is available. If there is not enough space, the submissions will be displayed via video.

Best Video Coffee and Wine Bar—featuring Willoughby’s Coffee, a distinctive wine selection, and craft beers—will stay open from 9 am to 10 pm.

On the occasion of the BVFCC ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE CELEBRATION, Best Video Film and Cultural Center encourages donations. It is only with the support of our friends and neighbors that the organization can sustain the archive, the space, and programming such as literary readings, guided screenings, and live music shows. Donations, memberships and participation of the public underwrite this programming, the maintenance the brick and mortar space, and its diverse functions of library, performance venue, and community hub.

Sign up now for Best Cookie Contest, part of Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s Nov. 17 Anniversary Open House & Fundraising Extravaganza

On Saturday, November 17, 2018, Best Video Film and Cultural Center (BVFCC), celebrating its third 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 20 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] bestvideo.com. Include your name, phone and type of cookie. The first 20 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. 17, Open House & Fundraiser and vote for your favorite cookies.

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

With Trivia 237, BVFCC launches new monthly trivia night event

Best Video Film & Cultural Center launches a new monthly trivia night, Trivia 237 (or “T-237” for those dystopian future-minded folk) on Monday, July 2. The event starts at 7:30 PM and admission is a suggested donation of $5.

Trivia 237—named after the infamous Hotel Stanley room in “The Shining”—is the brainchild of BVFCC barista Lena Olive-Reese and her husband Paul. Lena and Paul, the creators and executive producers, will also host the event.

Trivia 237 will be a team trivia event comprised of four rounds of quizzing with ten questions per round, for a total of forty questions. Questions will cover a wide range of cinema-related (and “cinema-adjacent”) material: film facts, box office statistics, store facts, film score, television, reviews, among others.

No portable electronic devices of any kind may be used during gameplay under any circumstances. Competitors may not shout out answers during gameplay, attempt to look at answer sheets of other teams, or approach the executive producers’ table during gameplay. If a team is suspected of violating any of these rules, the executive producers reserve the right to disqualify the entire team for the individual round in which the offense occurred or the entire competition. Teams will be limited to a six-player maximum to allow as many people as possible to participate.

Teams write their answers on a prepared form provided by BVFCC. Answers must be written legibly in English. The executive producers reserve the right to disqualify any answers they judge to be too illegible to be considered correct.

Lena and Paul Olive-Reese.

Where proper names of film/tv/musics are concerned, a correct answer requires that the full name be given. For example, if the correct answer is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, an answer of “The Grinch” is marked incorrect. In the case of people, giving the last name is acceptable except in cases where there are multiple people with the same last name and the intent is unclear. For example, if the correct answer is “Kevin Smith,” an answer of “Smith” is not specific enough and marked incorrect. But, if the correct answer is “Martin Scorsese,” a response of “Scorsese” is considered correct.

Each question will be worth one point, with any extra credit questions being worth an additional point. Scoring points for extra credit questions requires answering the base question correctly in order to be eligible.

Every team has one joker to use. The Joker, when used, allows a team to double the total points earned in a round. Jokers do not double extra credit points. After a team writes all of their answers down, if they wish to use their joker, they must write “JOKER” in large, unmistakable print on their answer sheet before it is turned in for scoring. The Joker may only be used once.

After all questions are asked in a round, teams are allowed one minute to complete their answer sheets and submit them to the executive producers for scoring. Any late answer sheets will not be scored and the team will score zero points for the round. Cumulative totals of all teams will then be read before the next round begins.

After all rounds are scored, the team with the highest overall score is declared the winner. All scoring, as decided by the executive producers, is final.

Bring your friends and test your knowledge of film trivia at Trivia 237. T-237 will be held the first Monday of each month.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Monday, July 2, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

Oscars Brunch this Sunday, 10 AM-Noon—Free Bagels & Mimosas!

This Sunday is Oscars Sunday!

BVFCC is hosting another Oscar day brunch this Sunday, March 4, the morning of the Academy Awards. From 10 AM until noon, we will be offering free bagels and mimosas. We will be selling Oscar ballots at $1 a piece that will offer you the chance to win prizes like a Cafe Amici gift certificate or a BVFCC t-shirt. We will also have a trivia contest.

It will be fun—be there! It’s free! (We are always, of course, happy to accept donations.)

BVFCC New Year’s holiday weekend hours

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s holiday weekend hours:

Café: Saturday, 8 AM-6 PM; Sunday 8 AM-6 PM; Monday 8 AM-5 PM.

Video archive: Saturday 9 AM-10 PM; Sunday 9 AM-9 PM; Monday 9 AM-7 PM.

Have a Happy New Year’s, a great 2018, and please stay safe!

Support BVFCC—purchase memberships, share holiday cheer with friends at the café, get special order DVDs & Blu-Rays, gift certificates

To our members, friends and neighbors: December is upon us, the end of another year and a time for giving. We appreciate and thank all for another year of support, exciting events and relative stability. We could not have done it without your interest and participation.

This holiday season please keep us in your holiday gift-giving plans, every little bit helps. Customer activity can get a bit lean during the dead of winter so here is how you can help maintain BVFCC’s success:

• Come out for a coffee, a show, a beer or wine and meet up with a friend;

• Make your holiday special orders of movies of TV series;

• Renew a soon-expiring membership;

• Purchase a gift membership for friends—for video rentals or the cultural membership plan for BVFCC music and film events, or for both;

• Buy BVFCC gift certificates, good for both the video and cafe sides of BVFCC;

• Please consider a donation as well as year end nears. Remember, we are a not-for-profit charitable cultural organization and any donation to Best Video is completely tax deductible. Your accountant will be proud of you! And we’ll be as happy as Rudolph leading the way!

We wish all a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and hope to see you at BVFCC sometime soon. And thanks again for your continued support. We’ll give it all back to you in the coming year, adding more films to our vast library, more live music, beautifying our space, and having a place for you, your families and neighbors to meet and feel the sense of community that is yours and ours. Here at Best Video Film and Cultural Center.

A message from BVFCC on this #GivingTuesday

To our members, friends and neighbors: December is upon us, the end of another year and a time for giving. We appreciate and thank all for another year of support, exciting events and relative stability. We could not have done it without your interest and participation.

This holiday season please keep us in your holiday gift giving plans, every little bit helps. Customer activity can get a bit lean during the dead of winter so coming out now for a coffee, a show, a beer or wine and meet up with a friend, a holiday special order or purchase can all add up to a happy and sustaining season for Best Video Film and Cultural Center.

Consider, too, renewing a soon-expiring membership, purchasing a gift membership for a friend and buying a gift certificate for anything and all we offer. Please consider a donation as well as year end nears. Remember, we are a not-for-profit charitable cultural organization and any donation to Best Video is completely tax deductible. Your accountant will be proud of you! And we’ll be as happy as Rudolph leading the way!

We wish all a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and hope to see you at BVFCC sometime soon. And thanks again for your continued support. We’ll give it all back to you in the coming year, adding more films to our vast library, more live music, beautifying our space, and having a place for you, your families and neighbors to meet and feel the sense of community that is yours and ours. Here at Best Video Film and Cultural Center.

Artists Audrey Nefores, Nick Hurwitz-Goodman create BVFCC-themed art show/benefit to show at Ordinary tavern in New Haven; opening Sat., Nov. 11, 7-10 PM

Local artists—and Best Video Film & Cultural Center members—Audrey Nefores and Nick Hurwitz-Goodman are creating “Creepshow,” an art show and benefit for BVFCC that opens at Ordinary on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 7-10 PM. Ordinary—a tavern from the guys that brought you Mikro, Caseus Fromagerie Bistro, and The Cheese Truck—offers craft cocktails & delicious, locally sourced ingredients in one of New Haven’s oldest bars, located at 990 Chapel St.

Taking cues from cinematic moments and technique, CREEPSHOW is a collection of relics that explore the beauty of film through paint, sculpture and mixed media. The artists hope this work will inspire others to experience the uniquely tactile and sensory experiences found in places like Best Video Film & Cultural Center, the last video rental store in Connecticut.

Join Nefores and Hurwitz-Goodman for a video-drenched night with wild art, food specials, spaghetti western music, and a chance to get a rental membership at the best nonprofit video archive and performance venue on the east coast.

Nick Hurwitz-Goodman work in progress inspired by “The Brood” (1979, directed by David Cronenberg. This masterpiece flick is available to rent at BVFCC.

Brooklyn-based musician Simon Hanes is a special guest. Four years ago, Compformanger (composer, arranger and performer) Simon Hanes founded Tredici Bacci, a 14 piece chamber-rock orchestra, as a vehicle by which to explore his near-manic obsession with music from Italian films of the 1960s and 70s. Since then, the NY-based group has been smacking audiences right in the face with their celebratory and transgressive approach to a largely overlooked musical lineage. Hanes’ original compositions approach the work of maestros like Ennio Morricone and Armando Trovajoli from a underground music perspective, resulting in fiery, high-energy performances.

BVFCC Second Anniversary Gala scheduled for Sat., Nov. 18, tix available; gala is free to any who donated more than $100 in 2017

Please join us on Saturday, November 18, 2017, from 7-10 PM, in celebration of the second 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. The celebration will take place at The Ballroom at The Outer Space in Hamden.

Tickets are $25 but please consider making a donation over and above that amount. Supporters who donate over $100 — or have donated over $100 this year — will receive complementary admission to the show. Donations in excess of the value of admission are tax-deductible as allowed by law. You can purchase tickets online here.

BVFCC was officially recognized as a tax-deductible non-profit by the IRS in 2016.

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 organized a film festival — BestFest Student Films, which had its initial event on Dec. 10, 2016 — to showcase the work of local high school students. In addition, educators and filmmakers involved in the organizing of BestFest Student Films offered several free filmmaking workshops for students.

A lineup of superb local artists have offered to donate their talent for this event: bluegrass group Five in the Chamber, klezmer big band Nu Haven Kapelye, indie rock chamber group Olive Tiger, and the string quartet rock band The Tet Offensive. We will also be showing locally made short films between musical acts.

Steve Rodgers, owner of The Space and The Outer Space, has generously donated use of The Ballroom for our gala 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 and our music and film events.

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.