Akin to the Winter Sun

Akin to the Winter Sun


Akin to the Winter Sun is a short-film that explores the formation of identity and the way in which it is inextricably entwined with geography.

Growing up as the son of an army officer in India, my family and I moved around a lot, shifting base almost every three years. My father too, through his formative years, had been switching houses owing to his father’s appointment as bank manager. The origins of this peripatetic lifestyle can be traced back to the Partition, an event which uprooted my grandparents from Western Punjab and forced them to settle in the freshly carved Indian Union. The result was an identity that has been in constant flux.

The question of ‘where I was from’ had always plagued me and steadily grew into an internal conflict. A part of me consciously rejected the idea of home, and revolted against it, while the other part longed to belong. This idea of a belonging, the concept of a hometown, which develops naturally in most people, never really took root in my mind. This lack slowly grew and became a void, an empty space accentuated by the diversity of our land where religious, regional and ethnic identities continually occupy the foreground. When I entered my twenties, I felt this strong urge to reclaim that void, to rediscover lost ties and to reimagine the space called home.

Over the years, the stories my grandparents had narrated—along with the cantonments, schools and spaces I’d grown up in—became a part of me. The focus of this project was to create a visual record of the self, insofar as any notion of selfhood is mediated by the geographies, spaces and objects that accompany it.

  • Rishi Kochhar
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 6 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 10, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
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  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Canon EOS-R
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Rishi Kochhar

Rishi Kochhar is a photographer, and writer, currently residing in Chandigarh, India. An architect by training, he holds a Master of Design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. His practice is concerned with issues of identity and memory, and how these two interact—and are inextricably linked—with geography. In his work, he focuses on long-term personal projects, looking both within and without, while also pursuing more traditional social-documentary themes. Rishi’s work was recently showcased as part of Angkor Photo Festival’s ‘Alumni Curates’ project. He also received the jury commendation at the Toto-Tasveer Awards in 2019.

His writing has been published in The Caravan, Critical Collective and PIX Quarterly. Rishi also exhibited at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi in 2014, as part of the student show, Prarambh.

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