42nd Parallel Films is known for crafting elegant, nuanced historical documentaries that engage audiences and deepen understanding of the contemporary world. Our projects have grappled with some of the most complex and enduring issues in American life, and have earned both critical acclaim and prestigious industry honors, including a Writers Guild award and a Peabody nomination.
Since its founding in 2012, the company has been led by Michelle Ferrari, then a veteran screenwriter and story editor. In addition to the films produced by 42nd Parallel, her screenwriting credits include numerous others for the celebrated PBS series American Experience––among them, Writers Guild award-winner Silicon Valley (2013), Writers Guild-nominee and Western Writers Association Spur Award-winner Kit Carson (2009), and the highly-rated Seabiscuit (2003), which was praised as "essential viewing," "superior television," and a "wire-to-wire winner." Michelle's work, in particular, was hailed by critics as "sleek" and "notably stylish," and earned her both a Writers Guild of America nomination and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing.
Michelle was also the writer of the landmark PBS series Half the Sky (2012), winner of four RealScreen awards, as well as the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences "Television with a Conscience" award, and Reporting America at War, a 2004 Emmy nominee for Best Documentary. The Washington Post called Reporting America at War "uncommonly intelligent and provocative television." "This is television that matters, that should be seen," said the Los Angeles Times. "[It is] a visual document of power and clarity...[that] uses graceful and muscular language to convey complicated and sometimes contrary ideas...At its best moments, and there are many, Reporting America at War goes beyond the facts, capturing a bit of poetry’s shine."
Meanwhile, as a story editor and creative advisor, Michelle has contributed her skills to dozens of television and feature documentaries, including two-time Emmy nominee Blue Vinyl, and the Peabody and Emmy award-winning
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present, both for HBO.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Michelle holds an M.A. in American History from Columbia University.