A FILM NOMINATED in the “Short film (live action) category” at the 2018 Academy Awards received financial support from our organization. Watu Wote (All of Us) is inspired by the true story of Kenyan Christians who, in 2015, were saved when Muslim passengers traveling on the same bus refused to identify non-Muslims—who would be marked for death—when the bus was captured by terrorists of the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab group.
“Producer Tobias Rosen came to see us because he needed to finance his film, but also because we have an expertise built over many years regarding the situation of Christians persecuted for their faith,” explained George Marlin, the chairman or our US office.
“I was looking for a suitable partner for this topic, because I wanted to produce an impressive, but more than anything an authentic, film,” Rosen said, adding: “Aid to the Church in Need did a great deal to support me and was a real blessing for this film. This project, during the course of which so much happened and during which we had to struggle against so many difficulties, would not have gotten far without this help.”
“We are thrilled for the makers of this movie, graduates of the Hamburg Media School cinema program, especially since it’s a graduation project. We are really happy and proud to have been able to help make this achievement possible,” said Mr. Marlin. “This also shows that an organization such as ours is particularly relevant in today’s world,” he stressed, saying: “Christians have always been the target of violence, but maybe today more than ever.”
For the sake of authenticity, the film, which was produced in 2016, used an almost entirely Kenyan cast and production team. Watu Wote has already received more than 60awards worldwide, including the Gold Student Academy Award, the Oscar for film students.
It also has received the Best African Film Award at the Zanzibar Film Festival and the International Film Festival in Durban, South Africa. “This made me especially happy because it is a sign of recognition by the African continent of the authenticity we were trying to achieve. For us, this story is one that, in the universality and timeliness of its statement, can hardly be more fitting for the times we live in,” Rosen said.
The Oscars will take place on March 4th. Click here for a trailer of Watu Wotu.