On December 2015, a bus travelling from Nairobi to Mandera was attacked by al-Shabaab militants and at least two people left dead. But something unusual happened during this attack; Muslims traveling in the bus shielded Christian passengers, who were the target, from the militants. This act of solidarity spread across the world and caught the attention of German film students from Hamburg Media School. They reached out to Lightbox Africa in Kenya and collaborated with them to create the film ‘Watu Wote’ in 2016. They submitted the film as their graduation project but little did they know that the film would go ahead to win a Student Oscars.
Watu Wote won an Oscars award during the 44th Student Academy Awards. Katja Benrath, who directed the film won an award in the narrative category in this year’s Student Oscars. Katja is one of the German students involved in the making of the film. She says that the humanity expressed during the attack is what greatly moved her. Watu Wote was one of the 17 finalists selected for the 2017 Student Academy Awards. This year, 1,587 student entries were submitted from 356 American and international film schools.
‘Watu Wote’ which translates to ‘All of us’ is a film that tells the story of the fateful day which saw Christians and Muslims put aside their religious differences and stand together in solidarity.
This is a great win for Kenya as the film which tells a Kenyan story, now stands a chance of being nominated for the 2018 Academy Awards in the Best Short Film category. Watu Wote, which features Kenyan actors Adeline Wairimu, Gerald Langiri and Charles Karumi among others has won at least 11 awards so far.
From Film Link Africa, we wish all those involved in the making of Watu Wote a hearty congratulations.

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