Community//

Sonia K. Hadad: “Be smart and aware”

I would support the nonviolent movements against children and women. This movement is not just limited to developing countries. In my opinion, all societies need to increase their awareness. They all have this potential to foster awareness and inspire policy and advocacy efforts regarding issues that impact women’s and children’s physical, mental, and emotional health. […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

I would support the nonviolent movements against children and women. This movement is not just limited to developing countries. In my opinion, all societies need to increase their awareness. They all have this potential to foster awareness and inspire policy and advocacy efforts regarding issues that impact women’s and children’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Had i have the chance to lead a movement, I would choose the nonviolent movement undoubtedly. I would like to see women in power, and I would like no child to live in hardship anywhere in the world. I know this is almost like a wish, but at least we can try.


As a part of our series about Inspirational Women In Hollywood, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Sonia K. Hadad an Iranian writer and director. She studied Film and Media Arts (M.F.A) at Emerson College in Boston. She was born in 1989, in Tehran, and was primarily educated in her native country. She holds diplomas in Physics/ Mathematics and graphic design and finished her B.A in Theatre (Play-Writing) major at Art and Architecture University in Tehran. She made her first short The Box in 2016 in Boston and her last short film Exam was made in 2019 in Tehran.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Of course, Thank you for having me. I was born and raised in 1989, in Tehran/ Iran, and I was primarily educated in my native country. I hold diplomas in Physics/ Mathematics and graphic design. In 2005 I started my theatre acting career, and I have played in theatres, public performances, telefilms, and T.V. shows. In 2009 I completed my B.A. in Dramatic Literature from Azad University of Art and Architecture, and I worked in the theatre industry for three years after graduation. I moved to The U.S. in 2013 to study cinema. I did my masters in Film and Media Arts (M.F.A.) at Emerson College in Boston.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by my surroundings: sounds, objects, people, feelings, and the interaction of all these elements. Curiosity has always been an integral part of my life. It makes me pay attention to the details of people’s lives and their environment, Ever since I have created stories out of simple incidents concerning the daily struggles of real people. My fascination with the intersection of history, culture, and sociology continues to inform my visual and conceptual personal language. I am shaped by a society in turmoil, which makes me more engaged with daily challenges. I work to create an atmosphere of everyday realism so that the spectator can connect the artwork to his or her own experiences. However, I believe the image is so effective that I needed an art platform to combine words and images. I realized that cinema is the tool to fulfill my artistic goals because it combines visual arts and sound to form a more accurate and complete story. So I chose this career path as I enjoy it a lot.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The most exciting story that has happened to me over the past five years has been getting to know respectable and successful people. The colleagues who became my friends, close-friends, and companions of my life. Energetic people who just gave me confidence and were by my side along the way. Maybe there are only a few of them around me, but I always focus on our friendship’s quality.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I do not remember any particular funny story. Still, the hilarious memories I have are from my early days in the cinema when I was working as a script supervisor and sometimes as a grip. I did not have much experience in the first days, and I did not know the equipment names. I did not even know the particular English phrases that are using inside the sound stages. Sometimes they asked me to bring a piece of equipment, and I was coming back with a different thing in my hand, and we were all laughing at what was happening. But over time, I became more familiar with the environment by studying cinema at school and working in the cinema industry in different fields and positions.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Yes! The most influential person in my life has been my screenwriting professor: Hassan. I believe he is the person that I think had the most impact on my life, Whether in the field of cinema/ film making or personal issues.

I do not remember wanting to start a project or having an idea and not calling Hassan! He is the one who is aware of all my plans from the beginning. One of his best characteristics is that he does not tell me what to do or not to do, but he only tries to scrutinize the aspects and points of that matter and let me decide for myself.

I remember the days when I was living in Boston, and once a week, I was going to my teacher’s office to visit him. Whenever I wanted to leave his office, he would go and stand in front of his bookshelf and choose a book and give it to me. He asked me to read and summarize it by next week. With these simple tasks, he wanted me to experience and expanded my goals.

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

I hold, failure is part of the progress’s process. I used to get sad about small and big failures, but I realized that every failure requires a constant effort, and every endeavor can be a new improvement’s path in life. Moreover, there are ups and downs in everyone’s personal and professional growth, and we have to experience them and try even harder than in the past. For instance, imagine that one day I make a film that becomes very successful and well-known nationally and internationally, but my next film may not receive any extraordinary achievement. But that does not mean I have failed and I have to give up. It is a very natural process of professional working life. Winston S. Churchill says, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

What drives you to get up every day and work in TV and Film? What change do you want to see in the industry going forward?

The passion for writing and creating that encourages me every morning to wake up and work! It motivates me, even more when I think that I can create a story and portray its narrative. Working in cinema is hard and challenging, but its toughness gives me a lot of motivation and energy.

Soon I would like to see a day when women artists and filmmakers are not a minority in this artistic community, and we all can work side by side.

You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?

Thanks again! These days, I am working on my next short film to shoot it in a month. The story of this short and its atmosphere is a bit different from Exam and my previous works. It will be a hard project to shoot as all the scenes are exteriors and in the middle of a forest. Therefore, it will be a new challenge for me, and that’s why I am super excited. Additionally, I am writing my feature film’s plot, which I have planned to make during the next year in Iran again.

I do not know where I am heading, but I am sure it would be a perfect place!

We are very interested in looking at diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture and our youth growing up today?

Each society’s power is in its diversity, and it should be reflected in different mediums of art, specifically in the movies that we create and watch. We are using films for awareness of issues surrounding diversity, and we have reasons for it.

Firstly, we are talking about diversity because it is a part of human nature, and everyone, from any race or nationality, should be fully aware of it.

Secondly, diversity increases the social, cultural, and economic power of a country/ society. If society accepts its diversities, it will have a higher level of awareness and, consequently, will face a more advanced and developed nation.

Thirdly, it is necessary to raise awareness of diversity issues, focusing primarily on five different elements: ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Because these are our daily lives’ fundamentals, and we are always in touch with them. The future of all of us depends on how we deal with these elements. So proper and comprehensive education can have a significant impact on our cultures and children for the future.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Failure bring up successes, and success leads to challenges. We never know what is next! Take everything as it comes, and do your best.
  2. Film making is not as easy as it looks! It is a steep path, and it is hard to break into the industry.
  3. Be smart and aware and learn from what is happening around you.
  4. Learn how to connect with people and their different perspectives
  5. Plan your future, keep learning, set goals and never compare yourself with other people

Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.

My daily care and routines may be straightforward to express, but they help me a lot. They do not tell any particular story, but they can significantly impact our work efficiency.

My everyday routines are:

  1. Drinking a lot of water and herbal teas, especially in the morning, and I am trying hard to drink less double and triple espresso.
  2. I am doing regular home exercises, at least half an hour a day.
  3. Listening to podcasts. My favorite podcast is (Sub) Text Literature and Film Podcast. I like this podcast as it uses psychoanalysis to review a film or narrative.
  4. Reading The New Yorker Magazine’s short stories.
  5. Watching movies
  6. These daily habits help me a lot to get energy, physical strength, and mental health.
  7. I believe that physical and mental activities can have a significant effect on creativity and deep work.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

When I read Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, I highlighted a quote, I wrote it down in my notebook: “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” This quote refers to my opinion about life and its ups and downs. We need to improve our living skills for facing problems and challenges. Every struggle and difficulty brings up power and awakens our potentials.

You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I would support the nonviolent movements against children and women. This movement is not just limited to developing countries. In my opinion, all societies need to increase their awareness. They all have this potential to foster awareness and inspire policy and advocacy efforts regarding issues that impact women’s and children’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Had i have the chance to lead a movement, I would choose the nonviolent movement undoubtedly. I would like to see women in power, and I would like no child to live in hardship anywhere in the world. I know this is almost like a wish, but at least we can try.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

I have so many! I mean, I could give you a list of names. There are many leaders and wildly creative people to choose from.

But unfortunately, most of my favorite people that I would like to spend time with (even for an hour) are no longer alive! People like: Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick.

But the only person that I would love to have lunch with or even have a short talk with is my favorite actress: Cate Blanchett. I wish the day would come when I can work with her. I like her acting as she is a classically trained actress who uses her imagination and expression. She deeply follows her character, uses improvisation, and uses other techniques originally taught by Constantin Stanislavski and Michel Saint-Denis.

Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?

My social media links are:

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/sonia_k_hadad/?hl=en

Exam’s Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/examshortfilm/?hl=en

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/sonia.k.hadad

Linkedin:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/soniakhadad/

This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

“Trust Yourself.” With Penny Bauder & Robin Joy Meyers

by Penny Bauder, Founder of Green Kid Crafts
Community//

“I Want To Start A Movement To Get All People With Prejudices Out Of Power” With Recording Artist Janelle Brown

by Yitzi Weiner

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.