Telling stories with an inclusive lens.

Third Kulture Media is a design research and strategic storytelling firm that works with communities to uncover insights and solutions.

Third Kulture Media works with communities, not for communities, to design research that uncovers complex systemic issues and identifies root causes through telling and creating stories.

By producing research in the form of audio and visual content, our goal is to create real stories that our clients can use to navigate social impact initiatives and investments. 

Our methodology is to integrate participatory design practices and documentary filmmaking to discover insights about people’s feelings, behavior and knowledge base. 

We believe that everyone has the right to tell their own story, and that stories can serves as a bridge between cultures and backgrounds.

RECENT WORK LEARN MORE

How do we bridge communities with decision-makers?

In the nonfiction media, research and international development fields there are different terms used for this concept of a “fixer”. This is the person on the ground, who serves as the bridge between the local community and the team of experts from abroad who parachute into a community to document or research. Our approach, rooted in participatory design practices, is to use new media technology to empower the role of “the fixer” so that they are at the center of the design research process.

Discovering Stories

  • Systems thinking and mapping
  • Identifying stakeholders / stakeholder mapping
  • Conducting interviews
  • Conducting dialogues in focus groups/ dyads/ triads
  • Shadowing people / Fly-on-the-Wall documentary filmmaking
  • Documenting organizational/community meetings

Synthesizing Stories

  • Gathering audio and visual content collected
  • Curating external content (e.g: social media and archival)
  • Organizing the content and sorting it
  • Categorizing into central themes and narratives
  • Transcribing interview soundbites as key insights
  • Scripting and story producing content

Bigger Stories

  • Producing nonfiction stories in the form of long-format documentary film, short-format films, short series / excerpts, social media bite-size content
  • Designing Community Dialogues and Convenings that incorporate stories
  • Creating Facilitators’ Guides / Curriculums for engagement purposes
  • Creating Tool Kits for Screening / Engagement for distribution purposes
Choose Work

Food For Thought

A design research and participatory media project to guide RWJBarnabas Healths’ social impact investments to better food security in Newark, NJ.

Beyond Bollywood

A feature documentary that provides an in-depth journey of four artists working behind the scenes of the world’s largest film industry, Bollywood.

Becoming Visible

For the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, design research and strategic storytelling project to address the issue of statelessness and ethnic cleansing in Haiti.

The Great Indian Marriage Bazaar

Feature documentary which follows the director in a quirky take on the crisis modern Indian women face as they navigate between tradition and issues such as femininity, identity and sexuality.

Her Earth

Feature documentary film which unfolds the parallel experiences of women and our environment during an era in which the United States strives to become energy independent.

WorkShift

A campaign kickstarted by Rockefeller Foundation to change the way Americans think and talk about good jobs today.

HistoryNow

A collection of timely and relevant individual stories that can be experienced in a first-person point of view. Featuring two series of Matthew VanDyke who is training Christian militia against ISIA and the HI-SEAS Mars mission team.

Belvedere x Vice

Belvedere Vodka and Vice Media present eclectic musicians and a look behind the scenes.

Valley of Islamic Dolls

Adnan Oktar is the most notorious cult leader in Turkey known as a Muslim creationist introduced the world to his take on Islamic religion and crediting himself to introducing his followers to feminism. Exclusively produced for Vice Media’s female-focused platform.

Ellora’s Cave

For Vice Media’s female-focused platform, Broadly, a short film about cave men strippers and a multi-million-dollar erotic e-book business owned by two sisters.

Broadly Meets

A provocative interview series that profiles world-changing women to see what inspires and motivates them to do the work they do, exclusively for Vice Media’s female-focused platform, Broadly.

Screenland

A series about personal tales, wild new developments, and unexpected genres that shed new light on what gaming means and the future of video gamees, exclusively produced for RedBull TV.

Association for Women in Development

A series of interviews with global feminists to address twenty years of change in the women’s movement for Association for Women in Development.

Rebel Music

Rebel Music is a powerful new series that explores the lives of young people who are using art and music to ignite change around the world for MTV.

MTV Desi

One-off short documentaries profiling quirky South Asian artists and comics exclusively produced for MTV’s South Asian platform called MTVDesi.

Asian Swindlers

From identity theft to hypnosis and seduction, we shine light on ruthless and highly creative swindlers and their tactics in a six-part series exclusively produced for Crime&Investigation Channel.

Global Lives Project

A video library of life experience produced by international filmmakers to create empathy, global citizenship and education supported by The National Endowment for the Arts.

Video Volunteers

An organization based all over India working to empower marginalized communities through the use of media and citizen journalism.

Regarding Humanity

A digital platform to discuss ethnical representation in visual media for journalists, researchers and professionals in the development aid sector.

Breaking Into Bollywood

A series which looks at various departments behind-the-scenes of the world’s largest film industry, Bollywood. Exclusively produced for RealNetworks.

Women Aloud Video Empowerment [WAVE]

A MacArthur Foundation initiative to empower young women all over India with video journalism skills.

Voices of People of Color

A series documenting the thoughts and experiences of people of color who attended the 2014 Climate Change March in New York City.

Common Ground Convention

A project to bring together people on both sides of the fracking debate in New York State for my MFA Thesis in Design for Social Innovation.

South Asian Voices of D.C.

A short documentary produced by WHUT-PBS that profiles South Asian artists and activists who are speaking up during the tense period post the 9/11 attack.

See what’s being said about our work.

From our documentary films to our design research and strategy projects, founder, Ruchika Muchhala, works with freelance production crews and strategists internationally.

 

Ruchika Muchhala

Founder

Ruchika Muchhala has produced documentaries for television and digital platforms as well as nonprofits. As an award-winning filmmaker, she has produced and directed two feature length documentaries, “The Great Indian Marriage Bazaar” and “Beyond Bollywood”, both of which have been broadcasted and screened at various film festivals and universities internationally. Ruchika is passionate about using video for change and social justice. She has extensive experience facilitating media workshops on video production and storytelling for citizen journalist with various community media initiatives such as WITNESS, Video Volunteers, Women Aloud Video Empowerment, SAYA, to name a few. Additionally, Ruchika has been invited to guest lecture at Yale University, New York University, The New School and others. Ruchika serves on the selection committee of the annual Ethnografilm Festival in Paris and is a mentor with New York New Women advising young women with life and career choices.

Karen Proctor

Advisor

Karen Proctor is founder and principal of Harbour Workshop LLC, a social innovation firm. Proctor established the firm with one desire in mind—to help senior leaders and organizations design creative solutions for lasting social change. Karen’s accomplished career has been devoted to working across the public and private sectors to address issues ranging from hunger to school reform. A nationally recognized leader in the social impact space, Karen has advised corporate CEOs, non-profit, and philanthropic chief executives at media, publishing and sports organizations, as well as federal and state senior level officials. Prior to launching Harbour Workshop, Karen was Scholastic’s Vice President of Community Affairs and Government Relations and the Director of Community Relations for the National Basketball Association.

Her work in service of more than 200 organizations has honed her expertise in strategic thinking and planning, program design, implementation, evaluation, and cross-sector collaboration. Karen is known for her thought-leadership and passion for producing transformational outcomes, and teaches at The University of the South and The  School of Visual Arts Master’s in Design for Social Innovation program.

Let’s uncover insights together!

We would love to hear your thoughts on how we can help you or how you could help us. Get in touch to explore how we could work together on a larger collaboration.

Email us:  ruchika@thirdkulture.com

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