A documentary about a South African expat in Kyiv, Kobus Olivier, who put his own life in danger to protect his four dogs after Russia attacked Ukraine, has been nominated for a SAFTA (South African Film and Television Awards).
The heart-warming film – War Dogs and I – charts the journey of Kobus and his beloved pets from the morning of 24 February 2022, when they heard the explosions in Kyiv… to their brave escape ultimately to Croatia. It’s not just a documentary. It’s a love story, between and a man and his best friends. Kobus famously refused to leave the Ukraine until it was possible to do so with Tiekie, Ollie, Jessie and Kaya.
Despite experiencing a “really, really scary” situation, Kobus says in the documentary: “Not for one second was I going to leave my dogs behind. That was the absolute most important thing in my life.”
The film is heart-breaking and inspiring – Kobus, a nomad cricketer and Ukraine Cricket CEO, luckily has a knack for attracting miracles, and miraculously he managed to get himself and his pets out of Ukraine.
Writing on facebook today, Kobus said: “So proud of my little War Dogs for being nominated for best Documentary Feature for the SAFTAs awards. Thank you (writer and director) Stefan Enslin for making this happen.”
Enslin is an award-winning filmmaker who has two documentaries nominated for this year’s SAFTAs. The other is ‘Against All Odds’.
‘War Dogs and I’ has been nominated for Best Documentary Feature. Enslin says: “Let’s pray we can bring the golden horns home Kobus Olivier.”
To one of many fans who congratulated Kobus, after watching War Dogs and I on Showmax, he said: “So nice to hear you enjoyed it. The dogs are the real stars. They got me through everything “
Like many South Africans who live abroad, Kobus has become quite nomadic, adjusting to different places around the world… but he’ll never forget home. He says he has been falling in love with Zagreb, where he’s now based in Croatia. “Every city has its own magic. I left a piece of my heart in London, Amsterdam, Glasgow, Nairobi, Dubai, Kyiv and always will there be my beautiful Cape Town “
The SAFTAs will be held on Saturday 30 September 2023.
WATCH War Dogs & I trailer