Art of Crying
Short Documentary | 2013
Why not tell stories from within a community, not for or about one?
Spinning off the term “third culture kid”, we believe that cultures are fluid and boundary-less. We believe that experiences help define who we are and that we can define our own culture when we are given the opportunity to tell the story of our own experiences.
With over 10 years of experience working as a documentary filmmaker and television producer, Ruchika Muchhala founded Third Kulture Media to foster a different approach to discovering, synthesizing and telling stories that engages people on the ground to tell their own stories across international and mainstream media platforms.
We aim to intervene within the mainstream approach of nonfiction storytelling to create stories that are authentic and spark social change.
For the most part in the industry, the “fixer” plays the role as the one-person show – producer/shooter/interviewer/location-scouter/translator/procurer-of-permits/line-producer – the list goes on. The nonfiction production crew or research team them “paracutes” into the community for a handful of days and works with this fixer to document and tell a story. And oftentimes, the fixer is underpaid and moreover, undervalued even though they are the ones who are essentially responsible for opening the doors and granting access into their community.
We believe that by providing training and media tools to the fixers on the ground, we could not only save production costs, but also our carbon footprint.
Our approach is to identify local storytellers and provide media trainings so that they can serve as citizen journalists / watchdogs within their own communities. With the help of technology, we will be able to transfer the raw footage and work with it to story produce original content for campaigns, brands, nonprofits.
The goal of Third Kulture Media is to believes in facilitating citizen journalists tis to be able to facilitate citizen journalists and communities to tell their own stories.
Once data is collected, it is handed over to our team of designers and storytellers who will synthesize it by: (a) categorizing and auditing the content, (b) producing stories and scripts, and (c) editing and creating visual stories that can be disseminated across digital platforms.
Using design research methods, UX and participatory research methods, we train and facilitate our citizen journalists to listen, observe and discuss issues within their communities. Working alongside professional camera crews, our citizen journalist documents as much as they can to collect stories from the ground.
Our goal is to strategize how to use stories from the ground to drive the bigger story and spark people towards action. Once stories are created and curated, we work with you to create content strategy for online platforms as well as offline platforms such as conferences and convenings where stories can be used as prompts to facilitate systemic change.
A third culture kid – of Indian roots, born and raised in Indonesia and Singapore, Ruchika is a non-fiction director and producer. She holds a BA in Film/Video from The University of Michigan and her work has been screened at various festivals and television channels. Upon receiving a MFA in Design for Social Innovation at The School of Visual Arts in NYC, she is working on creating digital strategies and engagement strategies for films as well as campaigns. Passionate about social change, her work often focuses on women’s issues and environmental issues, particularly climate change and energy.