Of Fathers and Sons

K.S. Elias‘ electronica-dominated score sounds warning notes of downbeat dread.
Hollywood Reporter (Link)

Film music from Potsdam successful at the Sundance Film Festival.

Die Welt (Link)

The documentary “Children of the Caliphate” (international title: “Of Fathers and Sons”), which was co-produced by the SWR, won the “World Cinema Grand Jury Prize” for documentary film at the Sundance Film Festival 2018.

SWR (Link)

“Of Fathers and Sons” shows its audience behind enemy lines isn’t unexpected, but disconcerting for being presented in such rare, close detail.
Variety (

Konrad-Wolf film music successful at the Sundance Film Festival


Successful film music from Babelsberg

Focus (

Rolling Stone

“Film music has always been a very defining part of filmmaking”

K.S. Elias in interview with the Rolling Stone Magazine
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“Film music composer Sebastian Elias was once a Folkwang student. He talks about artistic ambition, success, and what else is important in life.”

A portrait by the Neue Ruhr Zeitung (NRZ)
and the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ)
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Ku’damm 63


Interview with film composer Karim Sebastian Elias
“Without curiosity I would have been dead long ago”

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Karim Sebastian Elias on his music for the ZDF series “Ku’damm 63”
“The third season of the family saga about the Schöllack sisters is set in West Berlin in the Swinging Sixties. Musically responsible for the series’ zeitgeist was the film composer Karim Sebastian Elias.”

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“A very coherent, emotional but never kitschy portrait that also exudes historical authenticity. Although it wasn’t shot on Ku’damm, but in the neighboring Richard-Wagner-Strasse, the clothes, hairstyles, equipment and music breathe the zeitgeist of 1963.”
TV Spielfilm (Link)

“Many other scenes are also lovingly underscored with specially composed sounds. The atmospheric score was created by Karim Sebastian Elias and is available online via popular music platforms.”

TV Digital (Link)

“While the films still have the momentum of the first two seasons, especially since Karim Sebastian Elias provided a great cinematic score…” (Link)

“Where can you get the music and songs from “Ku’damm 63”? According to the broadcaster ZDF, the songs for the third season of “Ku’damm 63″ were composed exclusively for the three-part series and sung by the actresses Sonja Gerhardt and Helen Schneider themselves. If you want to listen to the music from the ZDF saga outside of the TV series, you can find the songs as well as the film music by Karim Sebastian Elias online for download via common music platforms. Have fun listening!” (Link)

“The third season of the ZDF series “Ku’damm” teaches compassionate shuddering – at a high level. As late young and as old experienced contemporaries, the series teaches us to shudder compassionately. The music, an indispensable prop of a dance school, provides the impetus for this, as if we were on a roller coaster of emotions, over which a canopy closes, nourishing in us the longing to break free. ….. In the third season, a Peugeot 404, the vehicle of the nouvelle vague, a new wave of film history, is parked on the Kurfürstendamm in front of the dance school, as if Alain Delon and Brigitte Bardot had just stepped out to dance the most lascivious tango in recent world history in front of the eyes of the corset-steepled principal Schöllack.”
Der Freitag (Link)

“Ku’damm writer Annette Hess, director Sabine Bernardi, cinematographer Michael Schreitel and the music team manage the miracle of offering up almost everything there is to remember about the early ’60s in a striking and palatable way, without lingering on the high horse of loveless irony.”
Der Tagesspiegel (Link)

“It works well with the songs of Karim Sebastian Elias…It’s a smart way to document that the past was once the latest of the new.”

Frankfurter Rundschau (Link)

In Heaven, Underground

„But it is the original score by Karim Sebastian Elias that sets so much of the film’s tone in critical scenes. With segments that range from mischievous to mournful, from merry to melancholy, Elias’s music does such a splendid job of showcasing Weissensee’s history and natural beauty that viewers may be shocked to find themselves laughing and smiling throughout a documentary about the final resting place of so many European Jews.“

The Huffington Post
George Heymont

„Aided immeasurably by the elegant cinematography of Kasper Kopke and a graceful and charming score by Karim Sebastian Elias, “In Heaven, Underground” is a delightful surprise.“
The Jewish Week, NY

„Wauer?s technique is creative without being arty, using a 3D computer effect to enhance the still photos and employing a charming original score by Karim Sebastian Elias.“
Film Journal International

„In Heaven, Underground: The Weissensee Jewish Cemetery“ is a playful, poetic and all-around charming documentary, an off-center look at an unusual institution“
LA Times

„Poetic and exquisite.“
The NY Times

“One of the most beautiful and emotional film music of the last years. “
Cinemamusica, CD Rezension

“In his analysis, Heymont puts emphasis on the role that music plays in In Heaven Underground. “It is the original score by Karim Sebastian Elias,” writes Heymont, “that sets so much of the film’s tone in critical scenes.” It seems that Elias’ music contributes a sense of connectedness to the film that might not have been possible solely through dialogue. A film about 115,000 deaths is going to be a film that mourns each individual in a complex and inarticulable way. The tone that Elias sets with his score is one that somehow, paradoxically, acknowledges Weissensee’s sheer facticity while it simultaneously rejoices in the cemetery’s natural beauty and in the role it played in the lives of so many German Jews during times of peace and times of strife.”
How do we honor the dead artistically bx Nicholas Myerberg
Habitus / A diaspora journal

“Nowhere is this documentary lengthy, nowhere drab and rigid. Not only because of the music of Karim Sebastian Elias: Slightly melancholic and very lively, the score accompanies the pictures, as well as pranks could be accompanied. “
Der Spiegel

“Only the film music does not play this February morning. It is touching and sweet, sometimes heavy with sadness and memory, sometimes as prancing as a blessed waltz. In Britta Wauer’s documentary “In Heaven, Under the Earth” about the Jewish cemetery Weißensee, which premieres Sunday at the Berlinale, more music sounds as a cemetery silence. In her heart the score echoes and goes from one grave to another. ”
Der Tagesspiegel

“In the waltz beat of the wonderful music by Karim Sebastian Elias, this film dances over a cemetery, whose horror comes from the fact that so many who would have been buried here instead got “a grave in the air”. ”
Mittelbayerische Zeitung


Saudi Runaway

„The music score unfolds with a gorgeous ache, and the film ends with the sound of a voice, delivering a simple but deeply affecting message.“

– Hollywood Reporter

Bella Block – White Nights

“You can hardly ask TV viewers to close their eyes during a movie. Although it would be worthwhile sometimes. Composer Karim Sebastian Elias, for example, has understood how to support the story in a new episode of the ZDF crime thriller Bella Block in which emotions play a big role – and it’s definitely not sound sauce. “

– Süddeutsche Zeitung

Wilde Wellen

“Elias also conjures wonderful moments with piano and chamber ensemble scoring. But most incisive is Elias’ sonification of sea, shore, and waves, with basses, trombones, and horns which are coming over the listener in a wave-like flood of sound. At no point corny or cloying, the music is magnificently emotional and mysterious!”

– Cinemamusica, CD review

Der Schmetterlingsjäger

“Quotes in five languages (German subtitled), jumps between fiction and documentation and stations of Nabokov’s biography, the superposition of invented and found material – that sounds more complicated than it is, if you let the film, especially the music of Karim Sebastian Elias turns the splinters of insights and images into a mosaic of experience. “

– Der Spiegel

Rhythm is it

“Film music is given a special role, because not only Stravinsky can be heard: the film composer Karim Sebastian Elias picks up a young audience with the rapped title song “Do not hide yourself” right at the beginning. And then his music takes sides with the feelings of the young people in different situations, expressing the inner strength that must be spent in order to overcome something insurmountable that emotionalizes the sense of achievement. Absolutely go. “

– Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Die Rosenzüchterin

“Over and over again the music knows how to surprise with its elegant harmonies, refined timbres and stylistic hints, all the way to the latest music: What a composing talent! The name Karim Sebastian Elias will have to be remembered. An astonishingly mature and musically “unspent” composer whose musical idiom pleases me much better than much of what is currently offered from prominent pens. The film music of the rose breeder was honored in October 2004 at the TV Film Festival in Baden-Baden as the best film music. Undoubtedly a very good choice! And a worthwhile CD. “

– Das Orchester

„Drunter und Brüder“

“The lilting music of Karim Sebastian Elias also contributes to the outstanding quality of the film; Sometimes it sounds like a bow to Henry Mancini.”

– Blickpunkt Film /


“Einstein” has a variety of original script ideas to offer, and Jahn’s rapid implementation works through the electronic music of Karim Sebastian Elias even faster.”

– Stuttgarter Zeitung

9 Tage Wach

“Another great attraction of the film lies in its richness of contrasts – in terms of content, as well as visually and acoustically: here the intimate love scenes, there the ugly separation; here the emotional moments in drama school, there the drug excesses; here the classics of pop and rock history, used very consciously and with concrete reference to the plot, there industrial techno, both linked by Karim Sebastian Elias’ score.”

– Stuttgarter Zeitung

Die Puppenspieler

“Even the musical accompaniment is anything but monotonous and clumsy. For the composer Karim Sebastian Elias, it was important to create “a contemporary” sound that sounds contemporary and not like a ‘costume film’. Whereby we also wanted to make the Middle Ages noticeable in the music. On the one hand I recorded the Brandenburg Orchestra Frankfurt / Oder and old instruments like Theorbe, Lute and Viola da Gamba, on the other hand I also worked with a modern, electronic sound “.

– Tittelbach

Die Puppenspieler

“Ulrich Matthes, as Pope, got some comparatively profound phrases in the script and the music of Karim Sebastian Elias gives many scenes an intense effect, without applying too much.”


Die Puppenspieler

„… yet it offers distinctive landscapes in the widescreen format, beautiful music and atmospheric images.“


Tatort Schwerelos

“The powerful look of Züli Aladag’s film is emotionally bound up with Karim Sebastian Elias’ very flat and extremely atmospheric score, which contains many narrative nuances.”

– Tittelbach

Tatort Schwerelos

“No less outstanding is the electronic music, which – apart from two club scenes – never plays in the foreground, but is almost always present in an often frugal way. As a result, composer Karim Sebastian Elias succeeds in subtly adding tension to the pictures; and, of course, it does not miss its effect when the music is silent in important scenes.”


Der Mann von gestern

“Karim Sebastian Elias has found a nice mix of native instruments and western rhythms for the scenes at the Cape, and thus heightens the contrast between the sun-drenched South Africa and the rainy, yet homely Bremen.”

– Blickpunkt Film /

Mordkommission Istanbul – Ausgespielt

“But the music is outstanding. The basic scheme is similar to his composition to “The Broker of the Bosphorus” from a harmonious blend of electronic and oriental sounds; small accent shifts are enough to give the scenes a very specific mood. On this Elias contributes significantly to the fact that “played out” is sometimes exciting and sometimes melancholy.”

– Tittelbach

Mordkommission Istanbul – Ausgespielt

“On the other hand, the music of Karim Sebastian Elias deserves a special mention, as does “Ausgespielt”, which gives the film more suspense and dynamism than the often noble pictures.”

– Tittelbach

Mordkommission Istanbul – Der verlorene Sohn

“Acoustically, “The Prodigal Son” is a treat anyway: the music of Karim Sebastian Elias, electronically dynamic in the thriller scenes, orientalized in the quieter phases, is almost too good for the movie.”

– Titelback

Die Schatzinsel

“Anyway, Elias Score follows the current Hollywood sound: an emotional and strong theme for Sheila and Jim, powerful and booming percussion to accompany action scenes, heroic brass that drives the protagonists’ actions, and exotic New Age sounds that represent the tropical backdrop. The Brandenburg State Orchestra plays excellently and the recording is exemplary. Karim Sebastian Elias has composed a strong score that can be compared to Hollywood.”

–  Cinemamusica, CD Rezension

Die Schatzinsel

“A suitably bombastic music (Karim Sebastian Elias)”

– Blickpunkt Film

Die Schatzinsel

“Karim Sebastian Elias has composed a strong score that can be compared to Hollywood.”

– Cinemamusica, CD Rezension

“In einem wilden Land”

Thanks to big pictures (camera: Gerhard Schirlo) and even bigger cinema music by Karim Sebastian Elias, genre-specialist Matsutani (” The Pope’s Assassination “) staged a unique and outstanding adventure drama for German television.

– Blickpunkt Film /

„Bella Block – Weisse Nächte“

Composer Karim Sebastian Elias has a tremendous share in the impact of this latest “Bella Block” thriller: because he has an excellent ability to record moods. And feelings play a big role in the story of Katrin Bühlig.

– Blickpunkt Film

Eltern mit Hindernissen

„Modern multigenerational film: in the ARD film “Parents with Obstacles,” a family gets to know each other all over again.“


„Das Geheimnis der Wale“

A wonderfully epic main theme, which represents a true enrichment of German film music.

– Cinemamusica, CD Rezension


It speaks for Elias’ score, that he is able to take also outside of the film for himselve. His suite is reminiscent of Aaron Copland’s film scores in its calm, by no means cheesy emotionality, and once, the bassoon solo of the Sacre beginning greets afar.

– Das Orchester, CD Rezension

„Wilde Wellen“

“Even with piano and chamber ensemble cast Elias conjures wonderful moments. But the most striking is Elias’ setting of sea, surf and waves, which comes with bass, trombone and horns in a wave-like sound over the listener. At no point cheesy or sweet, the music is great emotional and mysterious! ”

– Cinemamusica, CD Rezension

„Otto`s Eleven“

Otto s Eleven is full of musical surprises, fast thematic twists and various stylistic devices and therefore highly recommendable to any film music lover.

– Cinemamusica, CD Rezension

Otto`s Eleven Interview with Otto Waalkes

…about the cooperation with K.S. Elias to Otto`s Eleven

Question: Would you work with K.S. Elias again?

Otto Waalkes: Of course anytime! With K.S. Ekias it is pure pleasure to work with. He is absolutely unpretentious, over-talented, open to any musical suggestion and we speak the same language: music!


„… And all this with an impressive soundtrack that can tell the story alone.“

– Der Tagesspiegel


Cinemamusica: Interview

“Beyond your own horizon”
Cinema Music Portrait Interview


Märkische Oderzeitung: Portrait

“The picture amplifier”


Der Tagesspiegel: The emotional amplifier

Berlin film composer in conversation. Karim Sebastian Elias brings movie pictures to sound.