Kenyan short film ‘Watu Wote’ has been nominated for an Oscar award for best live action short film.
The movie, produced by a German film student, is based on real life events which happened in December 2015. It tells how a Muslim man led fellow Muslim passengers in shielding their Christian colleagues from being shot by al Shabaab militants.
The assailants attacked a Mandera bound bus near Elwak.
The Muslim faithfuls were asked by the militants to identify the Christians, an order they defied. They instead asked the Al-Shabaab militants to kill them all, indiscriminately.
Katja Benrath, the German student directed the film for her project at the Hamburg Media School.
”We felt very good being nominated because this is a huge achievement being nominated, for us, for Germany and for Kenya,” Ms Benrath said.
The short film has already bagged awards at film festivals in the US.
”I think prejudices are not the right way to live, so I think maybe this movie could help to start again, to look at the next person as a human being and not as a religion you don’t like or a culture you don’t like,” the director said, adding that the film could help open up minds.
This year’s Oscar Awards will take place in Los Angeles on March 4, 2018.
The film premiered in Nairobi on January 23 at the Junction.
Kenyans online were a proud lot and had this to say:
Watu Wote, a Kenyan film, nominated for an Oscar! This is history! Kenya is a film powerhouse. The quality of our productions is one of the best in Africa. If only the government could get behind the industry & support by incentivizing, we can turn filmmaking into big business.
— Elayne (@ElayneOkaya) January 23, 2018
Yesterday I learnt about a Kenyan hero. He was a teacher in Mandera and was killed by alshabaab militants because he defended Christians after they attacked their bus.
His name was Salah Farrah.
There’s a short film about this called Watu Wote.
— Wangu 🙃 (@K_Wangz) January 24, 2018
Congratulations to @Watu_Wote for your Oscar nomination. @LightBoxAfrica are part of the team that made this award winning short film #WatuWote about the 2015 Mandera bus. As @pawa254 we are proud to be associated with you. pic.twitter.com/PsTL25VIKt
— Boniface Mwangi (@bonifacemwangi) January 23, 2018
Congratulations @FilmKenya and all the other crew involved in the making of 'Watu Wote', which has been nominated for a Short Film Oscar.
— Kiprop Kimutai (@Tirobon) January 23, 2018
Do you have a story you want told? Do you know of a sensitive story you would like us to get our hands on? Email your news TIPS to [email protected]