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Get to know more on Iran phenomenal short

In a series of articles, ifilm website wishes to shed light on award-winning short films hailing from Iran.

In this first article of a series focusing on award-winning Iranian short films, Sonia K. Hadad’s ‘Exam’ is dealt with in more detail. 


The short title by female Iranian helmer Hadad follows a teenager who compromises an important exam with drug delivery.  The young woman needs to deliver cocaine to a client and in so doing, she gravely endangered her life.  

Awards and international attendance

Several high profile festivals such as Toronto International Film Festival, Leeds International Film Festival, Tampere Film Festival and Cleveland International Film Festival have screened the short.

'Exam' has gained 10 awards such as the Grand Jury Prize for Live Action Short at AFI Fest 2019.

This film will be screening at the Oscar-qualifying Florida Film Festival, Odense International Film Festival and Florida Film Festival in August.

Rave Reviews

The short focuses on the problem of a teenager forced to make a delivery of cocaine by her father. This is part of the problem as she still goes to school and needs to sit an exam later that day. The situation depicted in the short can be described as outlandish or fantastical, though that is what makes it very much appealing to the international audience.

Her father uses the teenager named Sadaf as a pusher. This irritates her, but she usually just accepts. You may wonder if this could be the main cause of her problem; however, she has more issues at school and this goes down to the wire with a great narration of the story and excellent camerawork.     

About the director

Sonia K. Hadad is an Iranian writer and director living in the US where she makes short films. Writing short stories for youth magazines inspired the director to write for films. Her latest offering focused on a subject that many filmmakers would shy away from. What she did could make us more aware of things that don’t affect us directly but are noteworthy.