The Washington DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF) is a 501 (c) (3) Not for Profit Organization and is one of the most celebrated screen events on the Washington, D.C. cultural calendar. The festival takes place annually in the heart of America’s capitol, showcasing the best in alternative cinema from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, and Sri Lanka.

We give prizes in following categories:
Best Feature Film
Best Story
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Short Film
Best Documentary
Best Smartphone Film
Best Feature Film - Audience Award
Best Short Film - Audience Award

NOTE: At present we are planning for hybrid film festivals (some programming virtual, some in person), from Nov 03-27, 2023. If deemed necessary due to a epidemic or pandemic we will switch to 100% virtual programming. A revised update will be provided in early 2023.

Only films that comply with the following criteria will be considered.

1. The Applicant must be legally authorized to enter DCSAFF 2023.

2. Films must be from the South Asian Diaspora with a unique voice, message and creative appeal.

3. Films must feature the work of filmmakers of South Asian descent living inside or outside the subcontinent.

4. Films made by Non-South Asian filmmakers must feature significant South Asian content.

5. Films must have completed post production by August 2023.

6. Duration: Feature Films must have a maximum duration 140-minutes, Short Films (includes Music Videos and TV episodes) must have a maximum duration of 30-minutes, Smart Phone Short Film (includes TikToks) maximum duration 12 minutes and Documentaries must have a maximum duration of 60-minutes. If your film is longer in duration, please contact the festival before submitting.

7. Non-English language films must be subtitled in English.

8. Participation at another international film festival does not preclude entry into DCSAFF. However, preference will be given to North American Premieres.

9. To remain in consideration, the submitted film should not have premiered in Washington DC (including Maryland and Virginia) prior to the festival.

10. Films that are available on Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV, YouTube or any other online platform will not be accepted.

11. Re-entry: If your work was submitted and considered for previous editions of DCSAFF, you may re-submit your film if you have made significant changes and if all eligibility requirements are met.

12. DCSAFF can only accept and consider entries submitted with a valid entry form and non-refundable entry fee.

13. Late Entries: If you are unable to meet the late submission deadline (August 31, 2022), please contact the festival and tell us of your intent to send a late entry.

14. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials. The applicant releases DCSAFF from any and all claims related to infringement of copyright or violation of any other right arising out of screening the film.

15. DCSAFF reserves the right to settle all cases not covered by the guidelines and to grant exceptions in special cases.

Overall Rating
  • Siddhartha More

    Good communication , as my documentary film was selected.
    Thank you festival for selecting 'Clowning with Shakespeare" and awarding it Best Documentary 2022.
    It was great to be part of the festival.

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your feedback.

  • I enjoyed attending the in-person festival this year with my short film "Stain Resistant." The event was well-organized with timely communications and arrangement for convenient accommodations for participating filmmakers. A wide selection of films that were both thought provoking and entertaining.

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your feedback.


    No communication by DCSAFF, disspointed

    February 2022
    Response from festival:

    Sorry for the delay in responding to you, our mistake. But once again congratulations for the Jury Mention Best Director Short Film Award. Thank you for submitting your film and hope to screen your next film.

  • Alex Sangha

    Thank you for selecting my debut feature documentary, Emergence: Out of the Shadows, at your prestigious festival.

    February 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the feedback, all the best!

  • Aravind Jayanti

    This was the first film festival I attended as my short film got shortlisted for screening. It was an amazing experience. The communication from their team was timely. Excellent hospitality and they make you feel very encouraged. There were a lot of great movies screened and every movie had a message. Overall it was a great experience and look forward to attending the festival again this year.

    January 2020
    Response from festival:

    Appreciate your feedback! Thank You
    Keep working on good stories.