Magazine article Filmmaker

100 Percent Heart

Magazine article Filmmaker

100 Percent Heart

Article excerpt

80 Percent Angel is a nonprofit production company formed by Pittsburgh-born Parker Snyder and Poland native Kasia Romanska during a trip the two took to Africa for volunteer work. After witnessing good deeds that were going unnoticed, Snyder and Romanska decided to form a community of filmmakers to document these acts through online streaming video. Named after a song lyric by the band Over the Rhine ("We are 80 percent angel, 10 percent demon, and the rest is hard to explain"), the company has, after only one year of operation, grown into a community of 17 filmmakers working in six countries on films in six languages.

80 Percent Angel primarily films in underdeveloped countries and has just finished a stay in Rwanda. One of the videos shot there focuses on a Polish man named Stani Gebala, who teaches native farmers how to construct modern beehives capable of producing ten times more honey than traditional beehives. The team documented his method of making a better beehive and then put it online. "After linking his video to a volunteer description at YouTube and Idealist.org," says Snyder, "Stani could finally get people from the developed world to come and help him." In another instance, the 80 Percent Angel team found people working with solar energy who were able to teach the Rwandans how to cook their food using solar power instead of a wood-fire stove. (Finding firewood is a difficult task in Rwanda because trees cannot be cut down without a government permit.)

80 Percent Angel is publicizing many other Good Samaritans from the fields of health care, education and agriculture. …

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