a film by

Germany, Belarus | 26' | 11/2021 | documentary

In the days following the presidential election in Belarus in August 2020, numerous protests erupt throughout the country. The special police, OMON, take particularly brutal action against demonstrators, which even spills over onto passers-by. In total, almost 7000 people are arrested throughout Belarus. Hundreds of victims recount their experiences in interviews. Their reports reveal a system of repression, which is reconstructed in detail in the director’s room in Berlin Neukölln in the form of a cinematic guide.

Square Eyes - Laurel_IDFA Best Short Film Award 2021_black
Square Eyes - DOK_Leipzig-Laurels_2021-Selection
Square Eyes - GSFF22 Laurel BLACK BillDouglasAward
Square Eyes - Laurel_IDFA Best Short Film Award 2021_black
Square Eyes - DOK_Leipzig-Laurels_2021-Selection
Square Eyes - GSFF22 Laurel BLACK BillDouglasAward

Pavel Mozhar


Pavel Mozhar was born in 1987 in Minsk and has lived in and around Berlin since the age of ten. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy & Economics at the University of Bayreuth (2009-2012). During this time, he was involved in student film projects and attended seminars at the Media Studies faculty. After graduation he had various internships and jobs in the film industry. In 2015 he started his Master’s degree in Directing at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, majoring in documentary forms. Mozhar’s most recent work is Handbook, a short documentary about the protests in Belarus in August 2020.


• Handbook – 2021, documentary short
• Vizitator – 2019, doucmentary short (student film)
• Holger – 2017, fiction short (student film)


Director: Pavel Mozhar
Screenplay: Pavel Mozhar
Producers: Kolja Volkmar, Pavel Mozhar
Production Manager: Kolja Volkmar
Cinematography: Adam Graf, Jonas Römmig
Production Designer: Friederike Meisel
Costume Designer: Friederike Meisel
Sound: Joscha Eickel
Voice Recording: Jack Jacks
Sound Designer: Ganna Gryniva
Foley Artist: Aurelia Langarika
Foley Mixer: Jaime B.
Animation: Laura Därr
Editors: Florian Seufert, Pavel Mozhar
Final Mix: Bertold Budig
Colour Grading: Jonas Römmig
DCI Mastering: Robert Hölzel
Translation: Alison Moffat-McLynn


40+ selections, 10 awards

Select highlights: 

  • DOK Leipzig – International Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Germany (25 October – 31 October, 2021)
    German Short Film Competition
  • International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam, The Netherlands (17 – 28 November, 2021)
    Short Documentary Competition Won: Best Short Documentary
  • Glasgow Short Film Festival, United Kingdom (23 – 27 March, 2022)
    Bill Douglas Award Competition Won: Bill Douglas Award For International Short Film
  • It’s All True – 27th International Documentary Film Festival, Brazil (31 March – 10 April, 2022)
    International Competition: Short Films
  • Go Short – International Short Film Festival, Netherlands (1 – 10 April, 2022)
    International Competition Won: European Film Award Qualification
  • Filmfest Dresden, Germany (5 – 10 April, 2022)
    National Competition Won: Golden Horseman Short Film & Short Film Award of the Saxon State Centre for Political Education
  • IndieLisboa International Film Festival, Portugal (28 April – 8 May, 2022)
    International Competition
  • International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany (30 April – 3 May, 2022)
    German Online Competition
  • Short Film Festival Hamburg, Germany (31 May – 6 June, 2022)
    International Competition Won: Hamburg Shortfilm Award
  • Palm Springs International ShortFest, United States (21 – 27 June, 2022)
    Official Selection: Best Documentary
  • Dokufest – International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kosovo (5 – 13 August, 2022)
    Short Dox Competition
  • Tirana International Film Festival, Albania (24 – 30 September, 2022)
    Documentary Competition Won: Best Short Documentary Award


EPK: Click here

Stills, poster & director’s photo: Click here

Dialogue lists (English, German): Click here

Downloadable trailer: Click here

Excerpts: coming soon

Press Quotes

“While ‘Handbook’ can be ruthless (as it should be!), Pavel Mozhar shows his finely-tuned sense for mutual respect even when his film is showing violently charged truths.
Review: Handbook – Bearing Witness – Savina Petkova