Silent Film Screening of Pollyanna | South Pasadena Public Library

Screening with live piano accompaniment by Michael D. Mortilla

PHOTO: South Pasadenan | South Pasadena Library Community Room

South Pasadena has served as a filming location for many famous features. From Victor Fleming’s Gone with the Wind (1939) to John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), South Pasadena is entrenched in Hollywood history. In celebration of our cinematic city, the South Pasadena Public Library is hosting a special screening of Paul Powell’s 1920 silent film Pollyanna on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room, located at 1115 El Centro Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030.

Pollyanna stars silent screen legend Mary Pickford in the titular role of Pollyanna Whittier, an orphan determined to see the positive in any bad situation. Dean Ghaffari will introduce the film and Michael D. Mortilla will provide the live piano accompaniment.

Dean Ghaffari is an actor, writer, instructor, and film historian. Mr. Ghaffari is very proud of his work in his community, from conducting lectures on film history to moderating several events at the South Pasadena Public Library. He previously taught Theatre Arts at the Pasadena Senior Center and is currently an instructor at the Los Angeles Performing Arts Conservatory. He has appeared in commercials, feature films, and has acted in dozens of plays. Most notably, he wrote and performed the stage play Rebel With a Cause – The Sal Mineo Story at the Fremont Centre Theatre, which subsequently made its way off-Broadway.

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Michael D. Mortilla is well known in the silent film world as a composer and accompanist. Michael has composed silent film scores for the Chicago Symphony, the Academy of Motion Pictures, the Library of Congress, the Olympics, National Film Preservation Foundation, and many others. He was the last composer to collaborate on a produced work with legendary choreographer Martha Graham. Mr. Mortilla was a faculty member at UC Santa Barbara for fourteen years, serving as resident composer and sound designer in theater and dance. Since 2000 he has resided in Burbank, working as a free-lance journeyman composer and sound designer in theater, film, silent film, animation, dance, and various other productions.

The screening will present a digital, unrestored version of the film. This film is presented as originally created. It may contain negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.

This program is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library. The Library is located at 1100 Oxley Street in South Pasadena. For information about services and programs, visit the website is at The Library is open Monday, Friday, Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upon request made no later than four (4) business days before the event, the City will provide a reasonable accommodation for a qualified person with disability to have equal access to the event. Please call (626) 403-7312 or fill out the City’s request form available at and email the form to Human Resources at