As a complimentary piece to the feature film, Gravity co-writer (and son of director Alfonso) Jonás Cuarón crafted this short work—Aningaaq—to coincide with the Gravity scene in which Sandra Bullock‘s distraught astronaut establishes communication with someone on Earth from her spacecraft. Cuarón depicts the previously-unseen (planet)side of the conversation with a patient eye, dismantling the language barrier to reveal a series of misunderstandings that fail to mitigate a few moments of desperate and fragile human contact.
From an extensive report, here’s The Hollywood Reporter with the history of the movie:
“The idea for Aningaaq, which follows an Inuit fisherman stationed on a remote fjord in Greenland, occurred to the Cuarons as they were working out the beats for the Gravity screenplay. … Both Cuarons spent time in the glacial region (Alfonso once toyed with setting a movie there) and fell in love with the barren vastness of its frozen wilderness. During one of those visits, Alfonso met a drunken native who would become the basis for the title character, played by Greenland’s Orto Ignatiussen. But it wasn’t until Jonas, on a two-week trek gathering elements for his film, was inspired by the local inhabitants’ profound attachment to their sled dogs that he decided to incorporate that element into the plot.
The short was filmed ‘guerrilla style’ on location on a budget of about $100,000 — most of which went toward the 10-person crew’s travel costs — and Cuaron completed it in time to meld the dialogue into Gravity‘s final sound mix.”