#BonfireStories — Introducing Filmmaker and writer Sonia K. Hadad

Our Campfire
4 min readMay 5, 2020
Sonia K. Hadad | Photo Credit: Unknown

Q:When it comes to storytelling, where do you get your inspiration from?

Images and specific real dramatic situations are the primary sources of ideas to me. An interesting Image, which can be from my personal/ life experiences, can develop into a story’s core. The situation may turn into my script’s beginning or ending, and sometimes the research and imagination process may transform the whole idea to a new concept. I always imagine that an imaginary character has trapped in an uncommon emotional, mental, or physical situation and that made-up condition can lead me toward a new storyline.

Q:Sonia, given the nuances in your film “exam” why was it important for you to get the audiences to be on the woman’s side?

The point of the EXAM’s story is that it could also happen to a young boy in a masculine atmosphere and with the same dramatic indicators. Still, I chose the other side as I could illustrate stories through the eyes of a female individual, the perspective that was my personal experience.

Q: Sonia, what do you want non-Iranian audiences to take away from this film?

I want the audiences to take a journey to the new milieu and feel the cultural differences. Still, I should mention that my film stories’ first and foremost goal is to persuade my audiences to identify with the stories’ characters and feel a unique inner experience, and also bring their mind into a peculiar complex state.

Q:Exam making its rounds in the Film Festival circuit. How important was this to you personally, and to your career?

I believe that participating in film festivals should not be a filmmaker’s primary and ultimate goal. Still, festivals’ opportunities can help a film to expose to distributors and exhibit on a bigger scale.

Q: Exam won the jury award at Sundance for Acting, tell us about your process in getting your lead actress to make the role her own?

Two years ago, I watched a feature movie, and Sadaf (my lead actress) was playing its leading role, and I liked her in that movie. When I started the EXAM’s pre-production process, she was the first actress who came to my mind. We started reading the…

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