Watu Wote

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Watu Wote
Watu Wote poster.png
Directed by Katja Benrath
Produced by Tobias Rosen
Written by Julia Drache
Music by Florian Hirschmann
Elisabeth Kaplan
Cinematography Felix Striegel
Edited by Julia Drache
Hamburg Media School
Running time
22 minutes
Country Germany
Language Swahili

Watu Wote: All of Us, or simply Watu Wote is a 2017 Kenyan-German, live-action short film directed by Katja Benrath, as her graduation project at Hamburg Media School and is based on the December 2015 Mandera bus attack on a bus by militant group Al-Shabaab in Kenya riding Christians and Muslims. [1] The film received critical acclaim and was winner at Student Academy Award, [2] [3] and received an Academy Award nomination for Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film at the 90th Academy Awards in 2018. [4]

Katja Benrath is a German actress and filmmaker, best known for her film, Watu Wote/All of Us for which she received critical acclaim and was winner at Student Academy Award, and received an Academy Award nomination for Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

Al-Shabaab (militant group) Somalia-based cell of the militant Islamist group al-Qaeda

Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, more commonly known as al-Shabaab, is a jihadist fundamentalist group based in East Africa. In 2012, it pledged allegiance to the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda. In February 2012, some of the group's leaders quarreled with Al-Qaeda over the union, and quickly lost ground. Al-Shabaab's troop strength was estimated at 7,000 to 9,000 militants in 2014. As of 2015, the group has retreated from the major cities, however al-Shabaab still controls rural parts of southern Somalia.

Live Action Short Film is a category at the Academy Awards, existing under various names as a single category since 1957.



Jua, a Christian living in Kenya, boards a chartered bus to visit a relative and is uncomfortable being surrounded by Muslim passengers. The bus is stopped by the violent terrorist group Al-Shabaab, whose members demand that the Muslims identify the Christian passengers. [5] [6]


Faysal Ahmed is a Somali-American actor from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Salah Abdow Farah was a Kenyan teacher who lost his life after defending his fellow passengers on a bus. He survived the December 2015 attack but died on January 18, 2016, from complications after a surgery to remove a bullet lodged in his hip. His story of courage inspired the short film Watu Wote by Katja Benrath. At the time of his death, Farah was the Deputy Headteacher of Mandera Township Primary School.

Charlie Karumi

Charles Karumi Maina, known professionally as Charlie Karumi, is a Kenyan actor and TV presenter. He has appeared in several plays, television series and films. He is best known for his role as Tony on Kenyan drama Jane and Abel and for hosting entertainment magazine show Arena 254 on K24.


Critical reception

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 100%, based on 7 reviews, with an average rating of 8.7/10. [7]

A review aggregator is a system that collects reviews of products and services. This system stores the reviews and uses them for purposes such as supporting a website where users can view the reviews, selling information to third parties about consumer tendencies, and creating databases for companies to learn about their actual and potential customers. The system enables users to easily compare many different reviews of the same work. Many of these systems calculate an approximate average assessment, usually based on assigning a numeric value to each review related to its degree of positive rating of the work.

Rotten Tomatoes American review aggregator for film and television, owned by Fandango

Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wang. The name "Rotten Tomatoes" derives from the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes when disapproving of a poor stage performance.

Awards and nominations

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  1. Dahir, Abdi Latif. "This Oscar-nominated film shows how terrorists put Kenya's religious harmony to test". Quartz. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  2. "2017 Student Academy Awards finalist". Academy. August 10, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  3. "2017 Student Academy Award winners". 2017-10-12. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  4. "Kenyan film 'Watu Wote' nominated for an Oscar Award". The Star, Kenya. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  5. "Watu Wote: All of Us". oscar.go.com. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  6. "Kenyan short film on Mandera bus attack nominated for Oscar Awards - Nairobi News". Nairobi News. 2018-01-24. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  7. "Watu Wote (All of Us) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango Media . Retrieved March 1, 2018.
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