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9:52 AM Thu, Sept. 20th

Prescott Film Festival presents ‘Dracula,’ with music by Jonathan Best

Bela Lugosi as the dashing, mysterious Count Dracula in "Dracula," presented by the Prescott Film Festival on Halloween. Pianist Jonathan Best will play along, creating an improvised soundtrack for the film.

Courtesy photo

Bela Lugosi as the dashing, mysterious Count Dracula in "Dracula," presented by the Prescott Film Festival on Halloween. Pianist Jonathan Best will play along, creating an improvised soundtrack for the film.

The Prescott Film Festival on Halloween, Oct. 31, will feature a classic film – with live accompaniment by Prescott’s Jonathan Best – at 6:30 p.m. at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St.

This year’s film is “Dracula” (1931), starring Bela Lugosi as the dashing, mysterious Count Dracula.

Traditionally the film festival has presented silent horror movies on Halloween. This year is different. Dracula is a talkie – but – aside from the credits, there is no soundtrack on the film.

This will be a different experience for the audience and accompanist, Jonathan Best, who as always is up for the challenge as he creates an improvised soundtrack specifically for the audience.

“Jonathan is so creative … he improvises the entire film. It’s an experience – not just going to the movies,” said Helen Stephenson, executive director of the Prescott Film Festival.

This year the festival organizers also are excited to add a costume contest for the evening. Prizes will be awarded for: Scariest, Most Creative, and Most Clever Idea.

It is said that Bella Lugosi’s performance in this film made his career. Movie reviewer Roger Ebert described Lugosi’s vampire as almost a template that influenced Dracula movies for years to come. “Lugosi, with his deep eyes (made eerie by Karl Freund with pinpoint lights) and his glossy black hair, created one of the most influential of all movie performances, making a distinctive impression that influenced movie Draculas for years to come.”

The creepiness of the castle is created by a haunting set design, ominous lighting and Freund’s eerie cinematography. Freund was also the cinematographer for the classic film Metropolis and 154 other films and TV shows.

Join the Prescott Film Festival for a fun and unique Halloween! Tickets are $12 ($6 for all students – any school – with ID and Yavapai College staff with ID), at the door or online at www.prescottfilmfestival.com.