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Third Kulture Media is a boutique media production agency that aims to facilitate a culture of our shared humanity through design, strategy and storytelling.

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.

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Whether you are a local filmmaker interested in telling your story or an organization looking for a storytelling strategy, here is how you can work with us!

Identifying the issue with local journalists and working with them to unearth stories and data by:

  • Conducting trainings and facilitations on interviewing and storytelling skills

  • Conducting video, audio and photography production trainings

  • Conducting ethnographic research with citizen journalists and communities

  • Developing participatory research methods with communities

Creating and curating stories to define the larger narrative by:

  • Gathering, organizing and categorizing raw audio, video and photo content

  • Story producing to create original content such as quote coasters, graphics, bite-size short format videos, audio podcasts, photo-essays and collages

  • Producing one-off short documentary films

  • Networking with partners to curate related content and factual information

Promoting the larger narrative by facilitating dialogue and developing content strategy:

  • For Online platforms – Designing content strategy and social media calendar for digital platforms

  • For Offline platforms – Designing content strategy and story prompts for convenings and gatherings such as conferences and facilitations

Working closely with communities to

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.

Working closely with communities to

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 pillars are our core values that help us define our culture as well as the way in which we choose to discover, tell and disseminate non-fiction stories.

We believe in a dedicated practice in which we do what we promise.
We believe in valuing our experiences.
We believe in consciously sharing and giving back to communities we work with.
We believe talking everything out is essential to establish trust.
We believe in training and educating communities so that they can carry the movement forward.
We believe in fostering and nurturing one's own voice and visual style.
We believe in understanding and hearing people out, no matter where they are coming from.

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Our vision is to storytelling experiences that address the fissures between communities by challenging the power structures and empowering the marginalized and disenfranchised to tell their own stories.

With over 10 years of experience in the non-fiction television industry, Ruchika founded Third Kulture Media to foster an alternative ecofeminist approach to the way we discover, synthesize and tell stories that are disseminated across multiple platforms. We invite citizens to be co-actors, not beneficiaries, and we invite organizations to be directors, not clients.

We are now a team composed of multiple hybrids, from documentary filmmakers, content strategists, university-level teachers, media trainers, graphic designers and communication designers.

Learn more about who we are.

Ruchika Muchhala

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.

or email us at: ruchika@thirdkulture.net