TACHELES – The Heart of the Matter

A young Jew and his crazy idea against forgetting

Watch movie online (german version):

Nomination GRIMME AWARD 2023
Nomination PRIX EUROPE
Preselection German Film Award
Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival in partnership with Hot Docs 2022
International Premiere Human Rights Watch Film Festival New York 2021
World Premiere DOK.fest Munich 2020
Learning by Docs Europe: TACHELES – The Heart of the Matter –   on the digital education platform „Nexus“, an initiative of DOK.fest Munich, Docs Barcelona and Thessaloniki Film Festival

Yaar sees himself as the most un-Jewish Jew in the world. He loves Star Wars and computer games. He’s fed up with his father and his Holocaust stories. Yaar rebels by developing a computer game in which Jews can defend themselves and Nazis can act humanely. Then his own family history interferes.

TACHELES – The Heart of the Matter shows how the trauma of the survivors can even affect the third generation.

TACHELES – The Heart of the Matter is a co-production between SCHRAMM MATTHES FILM and HANFGARN & UFER in cooperation with ZDF/3sat and WDR, supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) and the Jewish Claims Conference. 
Distributor: Real Fiction, Cologne 
World Sales: Ruth Films, Jerusalem


Social World Film Festival 2023 Best Screenplay
San Francisco Short Film Festival Close:Up 2022 Best Documentary
Budapest Independent Film Festival 2022 Best Short Documentary
2022 Reykjavik Film Festival Close:Up 2022 Best Short Documentary
Jakarta Independent Film Festival 2021 Best International Documentary Short Film
Flensburger Kurzfilmtage 2021 Jury Award in the category „Venture“,  Querkopf Award – Brücke e.V. Flensburg 2021
Hollywood International Golden Age Film Festival 2021 Best Covid19 Short Film
International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2021 German Premiere
Visions du Réel, Nyon 2021 World Premiere

On the first day of the Corona lockdown, the director’s father is picked up by an ambulance. He dies shortly thereafter. Mother and daughter mourn in the parental apartment, isolated on 49 square meters — and connected to the outside world only by telephone. How does isolation affect us when we are dependent on solace and help?


HAPPINESS KNOWS NO WEIGHTHeavy Persons and their new self-confidence

A Production for the ZDF series "37 GRAD"

All her life, Nicole has been discriminated against because of her weight. At 39, she is tired of hiding herself.  Sebastian photographs and draws his naked body. By confronting himself and others, he learns to accept the way he is.  

„Happiness knows no weight“ is an appeal for diversity and a stand against body shaming – a film that encourages you to enjoy life – just as you are.  

to the movie (german)ZDF-YOUTUBE


Three women and their work on a palliative care ward, ZDF, 30 min, 2020

Communication Award of the German Society for Palliative Medicine and the German Palliative Foundation 2020

to the movie (german)



On the road with the inflatable sofa: Together with Yaar, the protagonist of our documentary „TACHELES – Heart of the Matter“, we explore the relationship between Jews and non-Jews in Germany. Clichés are questioned and broken up – without fear of putting our foot in our mouth and telling uncomfortable truths.

In the first episode, two rappers meet: Ben Salomo, whose grandparents were persecuted by the Nazis, and Samuel Haas, whose great-grandfather was on the side of the perpetrators. For the second video, Yaar invites random passers-by to sit on his couch in Berlin:

What fresh ideas are there to combat the old and the new anti-Semitism in our multicultural society? What could a relaxed relationship between the descendants of the victims and the perpetrators look like that faces up to historical responsibility and at the same time builds bridges? Where do we stand with our mutual understanding and where is there a need to talk turkey?

Samuel Haas and Ben Salomo: Apology for his great-grandfather

Yaar asks Berliners: Do you actually know a Jew personally?

We are fascinated and inspired by people. In more than 30 documentaries and documentary formats, we’ve told their stories and accompanied them through social and personal turbulences. Our strength: We show the big picture by telling exciting individual stories.Authentic. Emotional. Recognizable.


BLEIBEN ODER GEHEN? (To Stay Or To Leave?)

Psychological profile of a marriage
Documentary, WDR, 45 min, 2017

DORF DES VERGESSENS (Village Of Oblivion)

Life in a dementia facility
Documentary, ZDF, 30 min, 2016

DER ACHTE SOMMER (The Eighth Summer)

Zestful lovers, moments of carefree bliss and a deadly disease
Documentary, WDR/3sat, 86 min, 2012

IM SCHATTEN DER BLUTRACHE (The Shadow of Vendetta)

Documentary, SWR/WDR/arte, 84 min, 2007

  • Deutscher Fernsehpreis (German Television Award)
  • Gerd Ruge Award
  • Festival Mujeres en Dirección, Cuenca

94 QUADRATMETER RUSSLAND (94 Square Meters Of Russia)

A communal apartment in St. Petersburg
Documentary, arte, 60 min, 2003

  • Barcelona Film Festival: 1. Prize “Temática urbana”
  • Thessaloniki International Film Festival

ZWISCHEN DEN WELTEN (Between Two Worlds)

An Imam in Germany
Documentary, ZDF, 30 min, 2002

  • Religions for Peace Award „Religion today“ at the Trento Film Festival 2003

DIE LETZTE REISE (The Last Journey)

What happens after we die?
Short film, 34 min, 2001

  • Festival du Film de Montréal
  • Raindance Film Festival, London
  • Kassel Documentary Film Festival
  • Wismar Film Festival
  • Grenzland Filmtage, Selb


Anger management training in juvenile hall
Documentary, BR/WDR, 90 min/45 min, 2001



From Kazakhstan to Berlin
Documentary, ZDF, 30 min, 1997


Festivals and Awards

German Social Award

for „Russian Kids“

Discovery Channel Award

Film Festival Munich for “No Mercy“

German Television Award

for “The Shadow of Vendetta“

Best International Documentary Short

Jakarta International Independent Filmfestival for “27 Steps”


for ”No Mercy“

Gerd Ruge-Stipendium/Fellowship

for “The Shadow of Vendetta“

1. Prize in competition “Temática Urbana“

Film Festival Barcelona for “92 square meters Russia”

Religions for Peace Preis

Religion Today Festival Trento for “Between Two Worlds”

Jury Award in the category "Venture"

Flensburger Kurzfilmtage for “27 Steps”

Communication Award of the German Society for Palliative Medicine and the German Palliative Foundation

for "The Taste of Life”

Best Covid19 Short Film

Hollywood Golden Age Film Festival for “27 Steps”


Brücke e.V. Flensburg for „27 Steps“

Best Documentary

San Francisco Short Film Festival Close:Up
for “27 Steps”

Best Documentary Short

Budapest Independent Film Festival
for “27 Steps”

Best Documentary Short

Reykjavik Film Festival Close:Up
for “27 Steps”

Best Screenplay

Social World Film Festival 2023 for “27 Steps”

SCHRAMM MATTHES FILM - That’s us:Jana Matthes and Andrea Schramm. For 20 years, we’ve been making films for television networks like ARD, ZDF, arte and 3sat, as well as for cinema.We’ve been working in various countries, among them the United States, Russia, China and Israel. Many of our films have been screened in international festivals and won awards.


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