- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
“Watu Wote” a Swahili phrase for “All of Us” has created a buzz after being the first movie to be nominated for the an Oscar.
The short film by created by director Katja Benrath for her film school Master’s thesis at the Hamburg Media School has been nominated for best live action short film.
The 22-minute movie is based on the true story of the Mandera bus attack by Al Shabaab militia that killed 28 people in December 21, 2015.
The incident also displayed the heroic acts of Muslim passengers who shielded their Christian counterparts who were the main target of the extremist attackers – in the process, some lost their own lives to save tens of other lives.
The movie has another Oscars connection in the form of its two American-Somali leads Barkhad Abdirahman and Faysal Ahmed.
The two appeared in 2013 Academy Award Best Picture nominee Captain Phillips. They are joined by 24-year-old newcomer Adelyne Wairimu, Kenyan TV presenter Charlie Karumi and Gerald Langiri who plays a GSU officer.
The movie already has one Oscar award which it won at the 44th Student Academy Awards competition in September 2017. The long list of awards collected by Watu Wote makes for impressive reading: Studio HamBurg Newcomer Award, German Newcomer Award for Cinematography, as well as awards at the Brooklyn Film Festival and Bermuda Film Festival.
The movie premiered at the Westgate Mall on Tuesday coinciding with its nomination.
The 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 for the top awards.
The 90th Academy Awards will take place on March 4 in Los Angeles, US.