Oscar shortlisted film Katja Benrath’s ‘Watu Wote’ showcases how solidarity and kindness can prevail

Watu Wote: All of us (2017), directed by Katja Benrath and produced by Tobias Rosen, has won more than 40 awards across the globe including the Student Oscar Award. This film is powerful because it explores the concept of freedom of religion, which shows people’s solidarity and humanity against violence. The director says that “For me, the topic seemed like a mission, it expresses what many people definitely want: that we stand up for one another and see ourselves as what we are, human beings.”

Katja Benrath studied at the Hamburg Media School and completed with a Master of Arts in Film. Her first short films (“Babydoll”, “No one pukes in Heaven” & “Tilda”) have been playing successfully on many international festivals. For her graduation project, she directed Watu Wote based on the 2015 Mandera Bus Attack, which tells a true story of Islamist terrorist attack in the border region between Kenya and Somalia, from the perspective of a young, alone traveling Christian whose one of the few Christians in the bus at first foreign among many Muslims. The film depicts how insecure and panic the protagonist feels at the beginning to showcase how solidarity and kindness can prevail at the end.

The cast for Watu Wote comes from different cultural background: Adelyne Wairiu, Barkhad Abdirahman (Captain Phillips), Fasal Ahrmed (Captain Phillips) and Abdiwali Farrah (Fishing Without Nets). The director believes that diversity is the essence of her team and the Hollywood award confirms the value of this piece.

Tianyue Li





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