‘Raahgir’ wins Best Feature Film award at Wheaton Summerfest

DCSAFF’s theme focuses on unity and attainment of joy amid hate, divide, terrorism, and fanaticism impacting America

Goutam Ghose directed ‘Raahgir’ (Wayfarer), a film about how poverty and hardship, two individuals help a fellow citizen in saving the lives of an elderly couple won the Best Feature Film award at DCSAFF Wheaton Summerfest 2021.

The film also won three other top awards including Best Director at the Summerfest held on Aug 28-29 by DCSAFF (Washington DC South Asian Film Festival), showcasing films from South Asian countries as well as the global South Asian diaspora.

Other award-winning films also reflected the theme of DCSAFF Wheaton Summerfest messages of unity and attainment of joy, according to a media release.

Read: DCSAFF 2019: Shabana Azmi gets lifetime achievement award (September 24, 2019)

‘Tikkun Olam’ (Kindness) reminds one to “never forget our war veterans and be kind to the homeless and our fellow citizens.”

‘The Tenant’ speaks about “acceptance” and letting people live their own lives, do not be ‘judgmental’, first seek to understand.

Searching for happiness asks, “Aren’t we all searching for happiness?” and suggests “It is mostly within and around us, cherishing moments and time with loved ones.”

‘Dvaita’ (Being considerate) suggests “we all will one day be going through issues of aging so have compassion now. Dementia is common, and we need to be kind, patient, accept it and take care of loved ones.”

‘Bittersweet’ brings out an important health issue with sugarcane workers of Maharashtra which must be dealt with.

“Given the present atmosphere of hate, divide, terrorism, and conservative fanaticism impacting America, DCSAFF’S theme encourages people to focus on the big picture, which is unity and attainment of joy,” the release said.

“We promote our audience and community at large to engage in various social causes through artistic campaigns to save the environment, be kind to each other, accept differing beliefs, be happy, participate in the arts, all because life is short,” it said.


To encourage emerging filmmaker participation, following awards were give:

  • Best Feature Film ‘Raahgir’
  • Best Male Actor Adil Hussain – for ‘Raahgir’
  • Best Female Actor Tillotama Shome – for ‘Raahgir’
  • Best Director Goutam Ghose – for ‘Raahgir’
  • Best Story ‘Bittersweet’
  • Best Short Film ‘Tikkun Olam’
  • Best Child Actor Shahida Neera
  • Best Supporting Actor Rudhraksh Jaiswal for ‘The Tenant’
  • Best Rising Star Director Sushrut Jain for ‘The Tenant’
  • Special Mention by Jury – Best Actor in Short Film Shishir Sharma in ‘Dvaita’

DCSAFF said it provides an open platform to bring to the forefront important conversations around social issues, reduce discrimination, and engage in social change.

Read: The Wheaton Summerfest will be held at the end of August (August 19, 2021)

It has screened movies about women’s issues, LGBTQ acceptance, political corruption, religious extremity, atrocity of the caste system, exploitation of labor laws, human trafficking, and many more important social issues impacting South Asians around the world.

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