“Watu Wote” a Kenyan film gets nominated for Oscar Awards


A Kenyan film which was produced by Mr. Tobias Rosen of Hamburg Media School, Bramwel Iro and Matrid Nyagah of LightBox Africa, in 2016, and directed by Katja Benrath, has been nominated at the 90th Oscar Awards for Best Live Action short film.

A Kenyan film, Watu Wote meaning “All of Us”, is based on a terrorist bus attack two years ago. The announcement was made on Tuesday morning, by John Bailey, the Academy President, joined by Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis, from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The film was nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to compete with five other live action short films. The prestigious awards slated for March 4.

“Watu Wote” has already won over 35 film festival awards including the Gold Student Academy Award.

The film is based on an Al Shabaab bus attack in the northeastern border town of Mandera at 7am, on December 21, 2015.

Watu Wote depicts the real life events of what happened during the Al-Shabab attack on the bus, where a Salah Farah, a Muslim man led fellow passengers in shielding their Christian Colleagues from being shot dead by the militants.

The Muslim group bravely confronted the terrorists and asked them to kill everyone on the bus, or leave all of them.

The attack is said to have inspired the production of the Watu Wote film.

The film centers on a religious conflict between Muslims and Christians sparked by brutal attacks by the Al Shabaab militia from neighboring Somalia. The incessant anxiety created by the conflict persists until one day passengers on a Nairobi-bound bus prove that faith and solidarity can prevail acts of terror and violence.

The religious divide is bridged when the two groups defy the odds by fighting a common enemy, together, with Muslims shielding Christians from the attackers by offering them their Islamic attire to disguise themselves.

Loice Anyango, the only Christian lady on board on the fateful day, was helped to disguise herself as Muslim and survived the attack.

A primary school teacher, who was Muslim, was injured during the attack while shielding Christians and succumbed to bullet wounds while undergoing treatment in Nairobi.

Led by production manager German student Tobias Rosen, the motive of the film is to show the World that terrorism is not about religion but about a few individuals with ill motives, according to the film makers.

Produced in 2016 as the graduation film for the Hamburg Media School master class programme, the film was nominated for and won the Student Oscars.

Watu Wote film will compete with “DeKalb Elementary” by Reed Van Dyk, “The Eleven O’clock” by Derin Seale, “My Nephew Emmett” by Kevin Wilson Jr. and “The Silent Child” by Chris Overton.

The Oscar Academy Awards this year will be held on March 4, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the second time, at Dolby Theater Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S, and will also air live on ABC.

The Oscar is held to award the best films, actors, actresses, directors among others of the best films of the previous year, being 2017 in this manner.










Correspondent: Shamilah Namuddu

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