About Us

Mountainside Films Ltd. is an independent documentary film production company based near Sidney, British Columbia, Canada. Its principals are Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm.

We specialize in stories of the relationships between humans and our natural world. We are committed to accuracy, honesty, clarity, visual impact and compelling storytelling. We manage all aspects of film production, including research, development, shooting, sound recording, writing, editing, and music composition. We shoot and deliver in high definition.

Our work has taken us to all seven continents. We are comfortable working on the ice floes of the high Arctic, on the plains of Africa, in the cloud forests of the Andes, and in our own ocean backyard on the rugged west coast of Canada. We often travel to remote locations in a single-engine plane, piloted by Michael.

Our award-winning work has been shown in theatres across Canada, in IMAX theatres worldwide, on PBS, BBC, CNN, CBC, National Geographic Channel, France 2, and NHK (Japanese national television), and in film festivals in more than 20 countries. We have been honoured with awards from prestigious festivals and organizations around the globe, including the Canadian Film and Television Production Association, Wildscreen Festival, the Middle East International Film Festival, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. In 2009, Realscreen magazine named Mountainside Films to its Global 100 list, a compilation of the most influential production companies in the world.

Michael Parfit
Michael was born in London, England. He graduated from University of Southern California with a degree in journalism. He has written four books and numerous magazine articles for National Geographic, Smithsonian and other magazines. He co-wrote the script for the IMAX film, Antarctica, and wrote the script for the award-winning IMAX film Ocean Oasis. He also co-wrote the script for Under Antarctic Ice, a WNET/Nature production. He is co-director, editor and scriptwriter of SAVING LUNA, a Mountainside Films’ multi-award winning theatrical documentary. He is a private pilot with 7,00 hours flown in North America, South America, Greenland, New Zealand and Australia.

Suzanne Chisholm
Suzanne was born in Quebec and raised in Nova Scotia. She received a Bachelor of Arts in economics and history from University of Toronto, and a Master of Development Economics from Dalhousie University in Halifax. She taught English in Prague in the early 1990s, and did her graduate thesis research in the Baltic states. Since 1995 she has been working on various projects for National Geographic magazine and the National Geographic Channel-US. She co-authored the US version of Blame it on the Weather and a chapter in a National Geographic book, Last Wild Places. She is producer and co-director of SAVING LUNA. She is a member of the International Documentary Association, the Academy of Canadian Television and Cinema, the Documentary Organization of Canada, and the Victoria Film Producers’ Association.

David Parfit
David was born and raised in St. Ignatius, Montana. He received a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of Montana, and a Master of Music in music technology from New York University. He has written music for films and television programs broadcast on the National Geographic Channel, ABC, ESPN, CBC and NHK, and shown at film festivals around the world. He co-composed the music and designed the sound for SAVING LUNA in his 5.1 sound studio in Victoria.

Mountainside Mutt

Cedar is our canine companion and production assistant. Her first assignment was to travel by boat to the lighthouse at Nootka Island, on Vancouver Island's rugged west coast. We hope the experience of being hoisted up in a bucket on to the dock won't deter her from future travels with us. (She was too young to climb the ladder herself.) Her second assignment was in a single engine Cessna doing aerial photography over Nootka Sound in rough weather. So far, she seems to prefer staying at home, curled up in our office. We're not quite sure why.

Join THE WHALE email list:
visit THE WHALE on Facebook Follow THE WHALE on Twitter