Our team: family and community

The Mountainside Films team has been working together, in some cases, since we were born. Our nucleus is a small family unit that gets along in the office and in the field. We have been educated in journalism, music technology, computer programming, economics, and history. One of us, the most multilingual among us, has just started Grade 2, but already has two years behind the camera. 

Working as a family is fun and can help the budget, but completing the work of one of the most collaborative enterprises of the creative world — film and television — requires either massive corporate infrastructure or a good community of talent. We don’t have the costs of the former, but we have access to the latter, and where we live and work that community is very strong. From the sound studios of Vancouver to the on-location talents in camera and sound in Victoria, this community is deep, able, willing, knowledgeable and wonderfully diverse. 

Suzanne Chisholm

Suzanne, president of Mountainside Films, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and producer, a certified teacher and a non-fiction author. She has filmed, directed, and managed media projects worldwide, mostly related to environmental issues. She has managed online and social media campaigns for theatrical releases and television broadcasts. 

Her recent films include Call of the Baby Beluga (2016), for which she was producer and co-director, which was broadcast on CBC-TV’s The Nature of Things with David Suzuki, and worldwide by Nat Geo Wild.

She was producer and co-director, of The Whale (2011), narrated by Ryan Reynolds. The film was a Critics’ Pick at the New York Times and Washington Post, and was released theatrically in 2011-12 in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

She was producer and co-director of Saving Luna (2008), which screened at over 50 festivals in 20 countries, won 25 awards, opened theatrically in Canada in 2008, and was broadcast on CBC, BBC, NHK, France 2, Al Jazeera, and in 30 other territories.

She was producer’s consultant on All the Time in the World (2015), and Us and Them (2015). She was executive producer on Doeville (2014) and Soul in the Sea (2013).

In the early 2000s she was producer and co-director on more than 20 news-feature shorts for National Geographic Channel – US, including a series on European minorities, a series on the Inuit, and individual programs about puffins, Greenland’s melting ice, Newfoundland fisheries, South Pacific ecological hotspots, the Andes, Celtic music, and rising sea levels in the Netherlands.

She is currently a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education, Western University

Michael  Parfit

Michael Parfit, who was raised in Great Britain, Brazil, and the United States, is an award-winning writer, photographer, and filmmaker. He has written, edited, and directed television and theatrical films, IMAX scripts, and magazine articles and books. He has specialized in exploring the human relationship to the planet.

Parfit co-wrote the script for the IMAX film Antarctica, and wrote the script for the award-winning IMAX film Ocean Oasis. He also co-directed, filmed, and wrote the scripts for Saving Luna and The Whale, feature documentaries released theatrically and broadcast worldwide. Saving Luna won 25 festival awards around the world.  The Whale was named Critic’s Pick by the New York Times and Washington Post. 

Parfit recently co-directed, edited, and wrote Call of the Baby Beluga, shown on CBC and on Nat Geo Wild worldwide. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, he co-directed, filmed and wrote the scripts for over 20 news-feature shorts for the National Geographic Channel. He also co-directed and wrote The Search for the Never Never, a one-hour film about the Australian environment, and Letters from the Forgotten People, about refugees, shown on Montana PBS.

Parfit has written five books, including a New York Times Notable Book of the Year about Antarctica. He has written feature articles for National Geographic, Smithsonian and others. His work was in the finals for the National Magazine Awards three times. He won numerous magazine, science-writing, journalism, newspaper, and photography awards.

  David    Parfit

David Parfit is a trained composer with a Master in Music Technology degree from New York University and a passion for exploring non-traditional sounds. Known for his easy-going demeanour, technological expertise, and creative approach, David has created scores that have been heard around the world in theatres, on TV (CBC, BBC, ABC, ESPN, National Geographic, and others), and on the Internet.

His feature work includes Maureen Bradley’s award-winning comedy Two 4 One (2015) and the critically-acclaimed documentary, Saving Luna (later re-edited with narration by Ryan Reynolds and released in US theatres as The Whale). Film and TV projects that David has scored have won more than 40 industry and festival awards worldwide.

David is also the owner of Seaside Sound, where he’s accumulated ten years of experience in composing, post-production sound design, editing, and mixing for film and TV.  On top of this, he and business partner Scott Amos run the interactive installation art company Monkey C Interactive, which recently designed and installed the now-well-known Musical Railings in downtown Victoria, British Columbia and the equally zany and fun Floralume musical staircase in New Westminster, British Columbia.

Christopher Parfit

Christopher Parfit, chief morale officer, was born into Mountainside Films in 2011. He starred in several one-minute feature films before he was two years old, and began to use a camera at four. Although he has demonstrated in the above photograph that he can row, he does not yet have access to the keys to the inflatable.