In leaving behind a successful 17-year career in television journalism to make documentaries, Jody Hassett Sanchez says she was looking to dig a bit deeper.
“I believe in the power of storytelling,” Sanchez told Palm Beach Atlantic University students, faculty and staff during chapel services Tuesday. “What I believe people are truly hungry for, and they might not know it, are stories.”
|PBA Interim President Bill Fleming, left, speaks with student Adam McGregor and filmmaker Jody Hassett Sanchez following chapel services on Tuesday.|
Sanchez is the president of Pointy Shoe Productions, a documentary company in Washington, D.C., that explores issues of faith and culture. Previously, she worked for ABC News and CNN.
Working in the news business, Sanchez said she found that the stories that viewers responded to the most were those in which she focused on the life of an individual living through a global conflict. In taking that approach, “that one-dimensional victim is now a three-dimensional human," she said.
She recently directed the film Sold: Fighting the New Global Slave Trade, which highlights the work of three individuals – one Hindu, one Christian and one Muslim – fighting to end the $27 billion-a-year industry of child slavery.
Sanchez said what she didn’t want to do was a documentary that just detailed the problem, “which is why the film is really at the end of the day about three extraordinary individuals who are on the front lines fighting slavery and making a difference.”
The film also shines a spotlight on some of the victims of child slavery, who tell their story in their own words, she said.
“These children really are a living testimony to the possibility that even the most broken among us can be rescued and restored.”
Sanchez, who spoke both Monday and Tuesday, was one of two scheduled guest speakers during a series of special chapels known as Justice Week. Students had an opportunity to view Sold during a special screening on Monday evening.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the speaker will be church-planting advocate John van Dinther, founding pastor for New Life Church in Stockholm, Sweden.