Kenya's Oscar nominee Watu Wote: All Of Us premieres

Film Watu Wote: All of us, based on a 2015 islamist attack in Kenya, had its Nairobi premiere just hours after it was announced as an Oscar nominee.

KENYA (REUTERS) - It has the makings of a Hollywood thriller.

Militants take over a civilian bus, threatening to kill hostages not of their faith. Fellow passengers risk their lives to protect them.

But this is not fiction. The short film Watu Wote: All Of Us is based on a very real Islamist attack in Kenya in 2015.

Just as the film premiered in Nairobi,  it would seem Hollywood has given it the sign of approval. To cheers and celebration, it was announced as an Academy Award nominee.

"It is a short film we shot in 2016 in Kenya and now we are back to showing the film. We just heard that we got nominated for the Oscars. That is just crazy," said film director Katja Benrath.

During the attack, gunmen tried to separate Christians onboard the bus intent on killing them, but Muslim passengers refused to comply to protect them - something actor Justin Mirichi says is an important message for today's world.

"It just shows that we have stories here that we can tell that the world is interested in and as much as the seed of that story was not good because a lot of people, some people lost their lives, some people got hurt, but I think it is a celebration of their lives and it is a celebration of our unity and the things we can do together," he added.

Three people were killed in the attack by the Somalia al-Qaeda linked militant organisation al-Shabaab, including one Muslim passenger who was shielding Christians.