One Billion Stories

One Billion Stories is the working title for our current film project. Over the course of multiple immersive journeys, between 2014 and 2016, we traveled across India to explore the country’s on-going network revolution. The project will take the form of a feature-length documentary, and other related short films.
One Billion Stories was featured in a TED Ideas article – read the piece here.
The video below is a montage of key perspectives, insights and candid moments from One Billion Stories, captured during our journeys across India. We are currently in post-production on the film, aiming to release the full film and hit the festival circuit in late 2017 and early 2018. More updates, a new project website and a full film trailer coming soon.

The Story...

India is undergoing an internet revolution. Nearly one billion people will come online in the years ahead, as the nation races to connect its entire population.

In the midst of this rapid network growth, Deepa and Jaya, two young girls from a slum neighborhood in Delhi, are introduced to the internet for the first time through an internet learning lab at their school. The lab allows children to create their own learning environment and explore ideas freely with the help of peers, mentors and the vast knowledge and resources available on the internet. When the lab threatens to close and they are forced to consider the implications of having their internet access taken away, their stories provide an intimate reflection on the transformative potential of the internet, and how it affects our sense of self, and our relationships with family, culture and society.

Meanwhile, at a rooftop “laboratory” in a small jungle village in South India, Jaleel – a visionary scientist and educator – is committed to using the internet to empower villagers and leverage their curiosity and intelligence to help discover new cures for tuberculosis. He has catalyzed a diverse and dynamic community of learners – scientists, farmers, homemakers, and others – all working together to learn and research, using the internet to connect and collaborate with other students, researchers and scientists from across India and the world.

One Billion Stories ultimately provides a collection of intimate human narratives exploring the complex relationships between technology, culture, and society; and the value of learning and knowledge in the information age.

For more information on the characters and the project, you can view and download the 2017 Project Brief here.

Early Project Work

                   
The video below represents a pair of a early character sketches captured during a production journey to India in 2015: