Historical & Biographical Documentaries

Enjoy a story and learn the facts about the world and the people who inhabit it with historical documentaries from Rlene"Live" Productions in Guam and Riverside, California. We take pride in delivering the correct historical perspective of people from Guam, Micronesia and Oceania. Good, bad or indifferent, the delivery will be educational and entertaining, but always objective. There are three sides to every historic perspective, yours, theirs and ours. Ours will always be factual and in context.

Written & Oral Documentary

We take the time to interview you, to learn about your life story, which might begin with your journey to the U.S. from Guam or the Mariana Islands, or maybe your birth there. Whatever point of reference your story starts from, we will incorporate it into the historic framework of the people of Guam, the Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Oceania or the United States and write about it. Certain oral histories may produce a full feature documentary.

We specialize in providing contextual information about the Oceania Islands peoples, including their history, culture, language, and governance. We conduct interviews in the CHamoru, Japanese, Palauan, Pohnpeian and English languages, and will hire translators.

Our publishing company, Rlene"Live" Productions has produced eight video documentaries as of October 2013. The first was an oral history overview about the way islanders of the Marianas and Micronesia share their history through oral transmission from generation to generation and the linguistic similarities and ethnic relationship of the early people of Guam, Palau and Yap to the Philippines and Taiwan. Genealogy continues to be passed down through oral history with each family identified by its cultural nickname.

Our company produces video documentaries and conducts oral history interviews on a full-time basis. We interview an average of three times a week, beginning in 2002.

i Tinaotao Marianas History Series Promo

Show Schedule
Sunday: KUAM TV 8 at 6:30 p.m. / Monday: KUAM TV 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday: KUAM TV 8 at 4:00 p.m. / Saturday: KUAM TV 11 at 5:30 p.m.

These primary source materials include eyewitness accounts of pre-war, war-torn and post-war history of the people in Oceania, and the changes of post WWII economic expansion on Guam. Steffy's Oral History Collection is a treasure of historical data and contextual knowledge of Oceanic people's history. It is the primary source of all our productions.

Oral History is a way that informed individuals share social, cultural, linguistic and political history with the oral historian in a narrative of trust. It teaches us what has changed and the continuity that connects the present to its past.

Answering the Need

Oral History is crucial in preserving the historic framework in which the language, culture and values of the Oceanic Islands peoples developed. It is a way that we can evaluate the occurrences that took place which make us who we are.

KUAM's general manager, Mari Calvo-Monge and KUAM TV news anchor, Sabrina Cruz Matanane wanted more local programming on KUAM and contacted Rlene Steffy to discuss what could be done. After a two-year consideration of the format, direction and content, the women settled on a history series of twelve half-hour-episodes entitled: i Tinaotao Marianas - the Peopling of the Marianas. Steffy's oral history collection of local and visiting scholars, Spanish and CHamoru language experts, pacific war and political historians and World War II survivors on Guam, Rota, Saipan, Palau, Yap, Pohnpei and Papua New Guinea are the primary sources for the television history series.

Oral history is a record of a person's relationship to history and their participation in a historical event. That is why it is essential to preserve these stories - to share with future generations our cultural background, its significance, and why we benefit when our cultural fabric is tightly woven.

Additional Work

The CHamoru - Fino' Håya Oral History Collection is a bilingual publication of more than 500 oral history interviews in CHamoru, English and other Pacific languages on varied topics within the context of the history of the peopling of the Mariana Islands. The interviews of Ethnographer-Oral Historian, Rlene Santos Steffy, and Rosa Salas Palomo, retired University of Guam CHamoru language assistant professor, CHamoru linguist and language researcher were recorded on high quality video and audio equipment, and will be transcribed in the language of interview, then translated into the CHamoru and/or English or both and published in six hardbound volumes that will include photos, maps, and illustrations. The topics; Traditional Fishing Practices; Manenggon March and Concentration Camp Survivor Accounts; Leprosy in Micronesia and Motivations for Language Shift; Diaspora of the CHamoru; Cultural Arts Effect on CHamoru Identity; and WWII Survivor Children. Both women, research associates at the Richard Flores Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center at the University of Guam, conducted the archival research and interviews.

Development Editor, H. Dave Tuggle, PhD, is editing the English transcriptions of the traditional fishing practices interviews (top volume - right image). Rosa Palomo and Jeremy Cepeda will be assisting in the transcriptions of the interviews conducted in CHamoru vernacular.

Call us today for more information.

CHamoru - Fino' Håya

Oral History Collection

CHamoru - Oral History Collection