During his time at Indiana Wesleyan University, recent alumni Al Pritchard (’15) has been passionately sharing his gifts in cinematography in a concerted effort working towards ending modern-day slavery. As a student, he was heavily involved in IWU Doulos, a campus-wide organization dedicated to fighting injustice; Pritchard partnered with this organization for multiple major projects.
On January 31st, 2013 Doulos joined the non-profit organization called End-It and launched the premiere showing of the movie Nafarious; Merchant of Souls. This showing was part of a semester-long campaign intended to spread awareness about human trafficking. Pritchard also organized and promoted IWU’s Dance for Freedom- which launched in 2013. The dance raised awareness about human trafficking, and all proceeds from this dance went towards providing relief for survivors of human trafficking. This past spring, Pritchard helped in the University-wide push against modern slavery, providing a visual experience through the documentary Girl Rising: a full-length film that reveals the exploitation and injustice of the Sex Trade Industry.
Prior to the summer before his freshman year of college, Pritchard was unaware of the prominence of the Sex Trade Industry within the United States. He mentions that he stumbled upon statistics regarding the number of girls sold for sex in the United States; he could not remove the horrifying reality from his mind.
“I vowed from that moment on to be a voice for the issue since my world had become so quiet and cold about it,” Pritchard explained. As he started college, he began his journey working towards that goal. Enrolling at IWU as a Psychology Major, Pritchard decided to pursue this call by working to help council formerly-trafficked girls and women.
As Pritchard developed a passion for restoring people trapped in sexual exploitation, his love for filmmaking became increasingly significant. Pritchard gained interest in cinematography after his father passed away. When his father died, he left Pritchard, who was a freshman in high school, his old camera.
“What was my first exposure to filmmaking,” Pritchard stated, “From there, I began shooting on a regular basis. Opportunities would open up for me to explore the world through my lens.” In 2014, God began opening doors for Pritchard to integrate his love for filmmaking with his passion for ending the Sex Trade Industry. Pritchard was healing from an ended relationship and in that process was inspired to begin the Restored Love Project, an organization dedicated to “fighting human trafficking through visual stories.”
A recent graduate, Pritchard is looking forward to further involvement in working to end the Sex-Trade Industry and provide healing for past sex slaves. Inspired by the Wipe Every Tear foundation, this summer Pritchard and the Restored Love Project are beginning the process of creating a feature-length film entitled Wipe Every Tear. This documentary is intended to expose the reality of the Sex Trade Industry and the potential for healing and restoration. This film will be the assimilation of a documentary and a cinematographic fable. Incorporating the fable, Pritchard explains, allows the reader to understand better the process girls must go through in order to escape this dangerous life.
Preparing to begin the filming portion of this journey, Pritchard explains that he feels as though his time at IWU helped ready him for this project.
“I believe God used my past experiences to prepare me,” commented Pritchard. Faced with the daunting, emotionally devastating project of filming these girls, Pritchard realizes that his experiences at IWU have equipped him for this summer and upcoming projects. “We will be filming in Angeles City, in the Philippians. This city traffics 15,000 girls within a 1.5-mile range. I can’t imagine walking into such pain and darkness,” Pritchard admits. However, he stated that through his personal challenges God has helped prepare him for this experience.
“I don’t believe God wastes anything, and he has brought me through my deserts in order to help prune my faith to be strong,” commented Pritchard. Following his work this summer, Pritchard is moving to California to attend Vanguard University’s Clinical Psychology program where he will begin the three-year process to earning his Master’s degree. Following his graduation, he hopes to build the Restored Love Foundation and incorporate his counseling skills as appropriate.
During his time at Indiana Wesleyan University, Al Pritchard developed a passion for providing hope and healing for people trapped in the sex-trade industry. Through his experiences as a student, he obtained practice working in this field. Now, he is launching into an uncommon life, pursuing the dreams that he feels God has for him as he works to spread love and change, one life at a time.
Since this article was written the film project has been able to begin the process of a film production on a smaller scale then they wish. They desire to make people aware of an opportunity to help Wipe Every Tear Movie.
Written by Katherine Arch, Story Teller for Alumni Relations. Katherine Arch is a Junior English major at Indiana Wesleyan, and a member of the Track and Cross Country teams. She is passionate about sharing people’s stories and celebrating their divine potential in written form.