India’s first podcast celebrating motorcycling is among the finalists at The Whickers Radio and Audio Funding Award (RAFA).

The Radio and Audio Funding Award (RAFA) provides £7,000 for a radio and audio documentary piece, with a runner-up receiving a second award of £3,000.

In addition to the funding award, The Whickers present a further prize, the Documentary Audio Recognition Award (DARA) to the value of £3,000 for the winner and £1,000 for a runner-up, to reward the best documentary of the previous year.

The RAFA finalists will pitch their ideas in front of a live audience on Friday 7 September as part of Open City Documentary Festival’s ‘Audio Docs Day’.

This new partnership with the Festival will feature an entire day of documentaries in sound; as well as audio-related workshops and speakers.

The winners of the RAFA and the DARA will be announced as part of the festival’s award ceremony on Saturday 8h September.

The Whickers were established in 2015 to fund and recognise original and innovative documentary.

They seek to use the generous legacy of their namesake, pioneering broadcaster Alan Whicker, to support emerging film and audio documentary-makers.

Jane Ray Artistic Director at The Whickers, said of this year’s finalists: “It’s a very strong line up. Each finalist is taking us into a world we think we know but don’t. With every twist and turn of these uniquely accessed, compelling stories, we will go deeper into Trump’s America, Brits on benefits, Bikers in India and the exquisite pain of having a more famous relative.

"The judges are in a position to make a life changing difference to one of our finalists. They will face the toughest of tough decisions.”

The Radio and Audio Funding Award is awarded annually to an emerging storyteller from anywhere in the world with the most promising pitch for an audio documentary which fulfils their core criteria.

This year’s RAFA finalists once again promise huge range of fascinating stories, from the story of a Trump voter who changes her mind following a shocking revelation, to the personal story of civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael, to an energetic look at motorcycling culture in India.

This year’s RAFA Finalists includes, Biker Radio Rodcast which is India’s first podcast celebrating motorcycling, the icons and legends, documenting its history through the stories told by members of the community.

Shirshendu ‘Shandy’ Banerjee has worn all the hats in radio, from being a music DJ, producer, programmer and consultant to that of the business head of a radio group. Despite a first-class degree in the hotel trade, he walked away from that glittering career in the 1990s to teach himself the skills of radio.

Today, after 22 years as an analogue broadcaster, he is busy exploring a new life in digital audio, kneading the content dough to bake newer breads for different communities with his friend and co-presenter Arvinder ‘Sonny’ Singh.

He is based in New Delhi, India, and tells The Whickers that he owes his success this far to having a remarkably tolerant wife.

Judge Nina Garthwaite said: “The Biker Radio Rodcast offers the listener an energetic, unusual and beguiling entry into an unknown world, that of motorcycling in India. We’re revving up to hear more.”

Also shortlisted is 'Marjorie' - A 78-year-old white woman from Maine who voted for Donald Trump has cause to reflect after a shocking personal revelation. We learn what former First Lady Barbara Bush has to do with it, and that it is apparently never too late to change.

May I Take Your Arm? features Alex Bulmer who has been blind since her mid-twenties and rediscovers Toronto, a city she used to know visually, by visiting old haunts with sighted strangers and exploring urban transformation through soundscape and conversation.

Stokely In Cuba looks at civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael who travelled to Cuba 1967 where he became fully aware of black people’s global struggle for freedom.

Now Isis Thompson, whose family always believed they were related to him, will retrace his footsteps to understand how in these difficult times we can affect global change.

In 'The Refuge Woman' journalist Maeve McClenaghan first meets 'Cash' who has developed her story into a one-woman-show and she's taking it on tour.