Pasifika On Air: Pese Samoa

Pasifika On Air (POA) is a funding programme for Pacific broadcasters to create and tell their own stories. Funded by Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL), it is the first initiative of its kind, empowering Pasifika broadcasters to share local stories on a global stage.

Working closely with New Zealand production house Sunpix, broadcasters across the Pacific wrote, rewrote, shot, and edited a series of stories to share with the world.

TV3 Samoa created two series titled Pese Samoa and Project Climate as part of their involvement the POA programme.

Pese Samoa consists of 2 half-hour format episodes that investigates the role music plays in Samoan culture, how it has been and continues to be used as a source of strength in the face of great challenges. It looks into how music has connected Samoans during the pandemic and across the globe for over 100 years.

Tides of Change is a single episode in a longer hour-long format that shines a light on what impact climate change has had so far on Samoa, including creating climate refugees. It looks at the lives of various people with diverse backgrounds who share their experiences in the hopes of influencing larger nations into making changes for the better.

Aotearoa Pesamino Mayer, producer and writer for both shows, says speaking to the elders about their history and seeing Samoa’s natural beauty were huge highlights. “Seeing things through the lens versus driving by … reminds me of just how lucky we are to be here.”

Production wasn’t always easy, and the team was presented with their fair share of challenges.

“We had a pretty good run at the beginning and then after lockdown it was so difficult to get back up to speed,” explains Mayer. “We learned that it is a full-time job to film a documentary … that POV subjects are super hard to track down.”

Both series are set to air across the Pacific on PasifikaTV starting Thursday 20th July 2023, so check in with your local broadcaster to see when it’s on.