Experiencing Interruptions?

Watu Wote/All of us

For almost a decade Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al-Shabaab. An atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust between Muslims and Christians is growing. Until in December 2015, muslim bus passengers showed that solidarity can prevail.

  • Katja Benrath
  • Julia Drache
  • Tobias Rosen (Creative Producer)
  • Felix Striegel
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    21 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 9, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    70,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, ARRI AMIRA
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • GRR Giovani Registi Raccontano
    March 22, 2017
    World premiere
  • Festival Internacional de Cine Universitario Kinoki
    March 24, 2017
    South America premiere
  • 15th San Sebastian International Human Rights Film Festival
    San Sebastián
    March 31, 2017
    Best Short Film
  • SEHSÜCHTE_46th International Student Film Festival
    April 27, 2017
    Germany premiere
    Audience Award & Best Production
  • 22th Brussels Short Film Festival
    April 28, 2017
  • 19th Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival
    Tel Aviv
    June 23, 2017
  • Bermuda International Film Festival
    May 6, 2017
    Best Short Film & Audience Award
  • Leiden International Film Festival
    October 27, 2017
    Audience Choice Award
  • International Filmfest Emden-Norderney
    June 9, 2017
  • Studio Hamburg Nachwuchspreis 2017
    June 20, 2017
    Best Short Film
  • Brooklyn Film Festival
    New York
    June 11, 2017
    Best Narrative Short
  • Alpinale 2014
  • Wendland Shorts 2017

    Audience Award & Producer Award
  • Zanzibar International Film Festival
    July 9, 2017
    Africa premiere
  • 38th Durban International Film Festival
    June 15, 2017
    Best African Short Film
  • Port Townsend Film Festival, WA, USA
    Port Townsend
    September 15, 2017
  • 27th German Cinematography Award
    June 24, 2017
    German Cinematography Award
    Los Angeles
  • Hollyshorts
    LA, Hollywood
  • 44th Student Academy Award Finalist
  • 28th Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival
    Sao Paulo
    August 24, 2017
  • 8th BronzeLens Film Festival
    Atlanta, Georgia
    July 27, 2017
  • Festival Partie(s) de Campagne

    July 14, 2017
  • 11th Reel Shorts Film Festival
    May 14, 2017
  • OpenEyes Filmfest
    July 27, 2017
    Audience Award
  • Shorts at the Moonlight
    July 28, 2017
    Short Film Prize
Distribution Information
  • Hamburg Media School
    Country: Germany
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Katja Benrath

Influenced by theatre throughout her youth, Katja Benrath pursued that career in her early professional life. She became a theatre tailor and worked for Pina Bausch's dance company. Following, she completed her studies in Singing and Acting in Vienna, Austria where she also discovered filmmaking. Her first short films ("Babydoll", "No one pukes in Heaven" & "Tilda") have been playing successfully on many international festivals. During her master studies at Hamburg Media School she directed “Where have you been" and “Secrecies". WATU WOTE, her graduation project, is her first film based on a true story.

2016/17 Watu Wote_Director
2016 Wo warst du/Where have you been_Director_Hamburg Media School
2015 Schwimmstunde/Secrecies_Director_Hamburg Media School
2015 Tilda_Director , Script, Production
2012 Im Himmel kotzt man nicht_Director , Script, Production
2010 Puppenspiel_Director , Script, Production

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Director Statement

Kenya is a country as colourful as it is full of diversity - with respect to ethnic groups and religious life. Shattered with terrorism, the north is unstable territory. For a long period of time it seemed as if religion-based terrorism could separate society - lately, though, there appear signs of brotherhood on the horizon. The fear-shaken communities have come to understand that standing together as fellow human beings is more important than the individual’s faith. Prejudices now start to play an inferior role. One may argue that this attitude is not a choice, but a result following the extremely dangerous surroundings. Nevertheless, choosing to live up to this principle is something I deeply admire.

Showing this changing attitude, the Muslim passengers on the bus saved their fellow Christian travelers. Religion didn’t play a role anymore. They decided in favor of humanity. And they did it together.

This idea is truly resembled in the genesis of this film. With tremendous effort, a transcultural team of filmmakers gave the real event a remaining form. As German filmmakers we didn’t want to „colonise“ the story. A few months in Kenya do not suffice to fully absorb the culture. We deepened humility while talking to the people in Mandera, the passengers, local journalists and artists. The possibility to overcome obstacles of any kind showed me just how much is posible when you’re open. And tolerant.

I can only dimly estimate how the passengers on that bus must have felt when they faced immediate death. Conserving that in a most realistic manner was our aim throughout the whole process.