Powerful and a must see
— Billy King, Brooklyn Nets General Manager
— Lauren Dawn, Fox29 Philadelphia


The Backyard Philly Project delves into the lives of four teens growing up in the inner-city neighborhood of Penn Town. It shows how their involvement with The Helping Hand Rescue Mission has given them hope for a better life through tutoring and other character-building activities aimed at the neighborhood’s youth. Filming began in October 2011 and concluded in June 2012 and consists partly of video shot by the teens.

The neighborhood referred to as Penn Town exists between 6th and 7th Streets and Spring Garden Street, mere blocks away from historical Philadelphia and Center City. Although a small area, the neighborhood consists of 400 housing units. The Helping Hand Rescue Mission serves as a safe haven for the at risk neighborhood youth.

Watch the 2014 remix version here for free.



Directed by, Amanda Danziger
Assistant Director, Nienke Izurieta
Cinematographer, Bruce Kite
Publicity Manager & Publicist, Brendan Schaller
Art Director, Lucas Clauser

Total run time: 64 minutes.

The Backyard Philly Project (2013)
The Backyard Philly Project RECUT (2014)



Femme & Fortune | September 20, 2013 The Backyard Philly Project with Amanda Danziger - "With the beautiful fall weather surrounding us here in Philadelphia, attending some arts and entertainment events should definitely be on your to-do list! We had the opportunity to interview Drexel Alum and local filmmaker Amanda Danziger about her rise into the industry and her upcoming documentary, 'The Backyard Philly Project.'"

Geekadelphia | August 1, 2013 Philly Geek Awards Spotlight: Amanda Danziger, Director of The Backyard Philly Project – "The Philly Geek Awards are this month, and leading up to the ceremony we’re spotlighting some nominees. Last week we introduced you to viral filmmaker Shawn Caple. Today we’ve got another filmmaker, Amanda Danziger, director of The Backyard Philly Project. Read on to learn more about her and her documentary. See you at the ceremony on August 17th! ." Read the entire article.

RAW: Artists | May 28, 2013 RAWdio host Jess F. Faniels interviews RAW:Philadelphia filmmaker Amanda Danziger – "She discusses the process of creating this incredibly moving documentary, which follows the lives of four teens growing up in an inner-city neighborhood in Penn Town and their journey." Listen to it here.

WHYY/Newsworks | May 9, 2013 'Backyard Philly Project' film focuses on four teens' search for hope amid hardship – "A documentary about the lives of four Philadelphia teens hits the big screen this week.  "The Backyard Philly Project" tells the stories of lives of four teenagers from the same public housing complex, Penn Town, at Seventh and Spring Garden streets. " Read the entire article.

Metro | May 8, 2013 A look at our own 'Backyard' – "Amanda Danziger, the founder of Ferasha Films, discovered her passion for filmmaking as a student at Drexel University doing volunteer work abroad. Her first two films documented that work: “Umuryango” was about children orphaned in the Rwandan genocide, and “Threads of Hope” was about women at a fair trade vocational school in India." Read the entire article.

Philadelphia Region's Business | April 11, 2013 Inspired by Rwanda, Ferasha Films Focuses on Philly – "When Amanda Danziger raised money to travel to Rwanda in 2008 as a Drexel student, her first instinct was to buy a camera and film her experiences as a thank-you gift to everyone who had contributed to her trip." Read the entire article. | March 26, 2013 The Backyard Philly Project Profiles Teens Living in Public Housing – "A recent Inquirer report, tucked in at the bottom of the front page, stated an overwhelmingly tragic fact of our city: we have the highest number of people living in deep poverty of the 10 largest cities in the nation." Read the entire article.

Technically Philly | March 20, 2013 The Backyard Philly Project: documentary on 4 teens in public housing – "The Backyard Philly Project tells the stories of four teens living in public housing at 6th and Green Streets, using footage the teens shot themselves. It’ll debut on May 11 at Drexel’s URBN Center." Read the entire article.

Drexel Magazine | Winter/Spring 2013 The Drexel 40 Under 40 –  "As we all know, Drexel is a university on the rise. And our amazing alumni—especially our young alumni—are a big reason why. In this, our first ever 40 Under 40 section, we’ll introduce you to a few of the bright, innovative, entrepreneurial minds who are making their mark on the world—and, in so doing, helping spread the word about our great University." Read the entire article.