Well, hello there. My name is Amanda.
My passion for creating beautiful images began with my love for film and cinematography in 2008 when I was a student at Drexel University. I volunteered at an orphanage for street children in the town of Byimana, Rwanda. As a way to show my appreciation to those who donated toward the cost of my trip, I bought a camera and set out to film a short documentary, "Umuryango," about the lives of the children I worked with, many of whom were orphaned by the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. After this experience, I was hooked on the idea of linking together volunteer work and film. I recognized the overwhelming power of film as a medium to confront western culture with the raw living conditions of the third world. This is how I founded my documentary film organization, Ferasha Films.
In 2009 I volunteered to go to India to film my second documentary, "Threads of Hope," the story of impoverished women at ConneXions, a fair trade vocational school in Kolkata, India. That's when I fell in love with the country. I hope to go back one day and experience it all over again.
In May of 2013, I premiered my first featured documentary called "The Backyard Philly Project." I directed, produced, second-shot, and edited the film along with a crew of four. It's been an exciting adventure, and I am so proud of my team's work. "The Backyard Philly Project" takes place in an inner-city neighborhood called Penn Town. We gave four teenagers Flip cameras to document their lives, but followed up with professional interviews. It was featured in some film festivals and also won Feature Length Indie Film of the Year the Philadelphia Geek Awards. Just recently my team launched a five year update titled "The Backyard Philly Project: 5 Years Later."
I live in Lehigh Valley, PA with my wonderful husband and twin boys. I'm also a lover of traveling, so don't be afraid to ask if I can do your project!
- Lehigh Valley Business: Woman to Watch Honoree 2014
- RAW's Filmmaker of the Year Philadelphia 2013
- Best Feature & Best Documentary, Greater Lehigh Valley Filmmaker Festival, "The Backyard Philly Project" 2013
- Philadelphia Geek Awards, Feature Length Indie Film of the Year, "The Backyard Philly Project" 2013
- Drexel Magazine, 'Forty under 40', Winter 2013
- Do Something Seed Grant, 2010
- McKnight Fund, 2009
Companies and people I've worked for:
- Newsweek and The Daily Beast
- World Bank
- Backyard Beans Coffee Co.
- Compliance Path
- 7 Regent Lane
- First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem
- Ben Stamper Pictures
- Elliott Powell Ministries