Triton Films

Documentary, Cultural, Educational


Triton Films is an independent
production and distribution company
which has made numerous award-winning films and videos
ranging from social-cultural documentaries on Pacific Islanders in Micronesia
to ethnographic films of Gypsies (Roma) in the United States.

Triton Films is owned and operated by

Eric Metzgar, Ph.D.



Documentary Filmmaker and Educational Anthropologist


Visual, educational, and applied anthropology. Using communications media to study societal values and behavior. Ethnographic field studies involving qualitative and quantitative research techniques. Educational practices and their informal, non-formal, and formal relationship to traditional culture patterns and modern institutions. Recent research has focused on Micronesian indigenous knowledge systems, arts, and skills (especially traditional navigation) and the impact of climate change in the Federated States of Micronesia.


PWO (2015)
Traditional Carolinian Navigation:
Navigator Initiation Ceremony, Yap, Micronesia:

Weriyeng  Navigator School:

PH.D. (1991)
Graduate School of Education, University of California, Los Angeles
Major: Comparative and International Education
Specialization: Educational Anthropology
Dissertation: Traditional Education in Micronesia: A Case Study of Lamotrek Atoll with Comparative Analysis of the Literature on the Trukic Continuum

M.F.A. (1975)
Theater Arts, University of California, Los Angeles
Major: Motion Picture and Television Production
Specialization: Ethnographic Film Production
Thesis Film: Gypsies: The Other Americans

B.A. (1970)
Theater Arts, University of California, Los Angeles
Major: Motion Picture and Television Production
Specialization: Motion Picture Production

PUBLICATIONS (Selected List)

Beyond the Blue Horizon: Filming on Lamotrek Atoll.  Revised 1998 photo essay, 76 slides, 2024.  Download PDF copy.

The Magic Hat of Naval Commanders boshilepaliuwelap.  In South Sea Oasis: Life and Survival in the West Pacific. Ingrid Heerman (ed.),  Stuttgart: Linden Museum, p. 197, 2022.  Advance online publication. (Original work published 2009 in German).  Download PDF copy.

Krämer-Bannow, Elisabeth, "Homeland Protection in the German Colonies!" (Eric Metzgar, Trans.)  Art Guardian and Culture Guardian, 26(4): 13-22, 2022.  Advance online publication. (Original work published 1913 in German).  Download PDF copy.

Review of the book, Hawaiki Rising: Hōkūle‘a, Nainoa Thompson, and the Hawaiian Renaissance, by Sam Low. The Journal of Pacific History,  Vol. 54, No. 3, pp. 431-441, 2019.  Download PDF copy.

Traditional Education in Micronesia: A Case Study of Lamotrek Atoll with Comparative Analysis of the Literature on the Trukic Continuum. Revised 1991 Ph.D. dissertation. University of California, Los Angeles. 2008. Download PDF copy.

Carolinian Voyaging in the New Millennium. Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences Vol. 5, No. 1-2, pp. 293-305, 2006.  Download PDF copy.

Carolinian Voyaging Reinvigorated.   In Vaka Moana: Voyages of the Ancestors. K. R. Howe (Ed.).  Auckland, New Zealand: David Bateman Ltd. in association with Auckland War Memorial Museum,  pp. 330-331, 2006.

Sacred Space, Taboo Place: Negotiating Roang on Lamotrek Atoll. Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences Vol. 3, No. 1-2, pp. 3-18, 2004.  Download PDF copy.

Getting the News to the Public in Truk: A Telecommunications Perspective.
Telecommunications in Asia, Americas, Pacific: PTC 1987 Proceedings. Dan J. Wedemeyer and Mary Sue Bissell (Eds.). Honolulu, Hawaii: Pacific Telecommunications Council. pp. 298-301, 1987.

Arts of Micronesia. Long Beach, California: FHP Hippodrome Gallery. 1987.  Download PDF copy.

The Word Masters. Pacific Islands Communication Journal Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 111-115, 1983.

Review of the book, Bold Experiment: The Story of Educational Television in American Samoa by Wilbur Schramm, Lyle M. Nelson, and Mere T. Betham. In Educational Studies Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 86-89, 1982.

Marespa: Last of the Great Ghosts in Micronesia. Micronesian Reporter Vol. XXCII, No. 4, pp. 29-33, 1979.


"Sea-Lanes of Antiquity:  Canoe Voyaging in the Mariana Islands."  In Guampedia 5th Marianas History Conference: One Archipelago, Many Stories: Navigating 500 Years of Cross-Cultural Contact.  Panel: Traditional Seafaring.  Zoom presentation, February 20, 2021.  Download PDF copy.  Online at:  

"Islands in the Storm: Lessons from Micronesia." UCLA Law Department Frankel Symposium: Coping with Global Warming. March 2, 2007.

"Braving the Deeps: Venturing Into the Pacific Ocean." BBC World Service Radio Program. Roger Fendby (Compiler/Presenter). Radio broadcast February 28 and March 6, 1998.

"Spirits of the Voyage: Traditional Oceanic Knowledge, Art, and Ritual as Cultural Adaptation." Department of Art History 32ndAnnual Graduate Student Symposium, May 10, 1997, University of California, LosAngeles.

"Getting the News to the Public in Truk: A Telecommunications Perspective." Annual Conference of the Pacific Telecommunications Council, January 21, 1987, Honolulu, Hawaii.

"Using Media Communications to Study Gypsy Values." Annual Conference of the Gypsy Lore Society North American Chapter, March 26, 1987, University of California, Los Angeles.

"Use of Text in Truk: The Consequences for Educational Reform." Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, April 15, 1985, Stanford University, California.


Some Inspiration

     "The controversy about ethnographic films, films made about preliterate or folk peoples which depict their original life styles goes on and on.  Should the ethnologist learn film making or should the filmmaker learn ethnology?  Is it possible for the same expedition to take films of scientific usefulness and also make a film that is an artistic production?   Do anthropologists know what they are doing with film, as film, and not merely as an adjunct to the written word?  Programmatic dicta of this sort abound, complete with retrospective references to Robert Flaherty, yet extraordinarily little reference to the rest of the work that has been done, to the highly developed uses of film in comparative studies of kinetics and choreometrics, as Ray Birdwhistell and Alan Loax have shown, or to the kinds of analysis made possible by the films of interpersonal behavior that Gregory Bateson took over thirty years ago, and the methods now being developed in experimental video by Albert Scheflen and Joseph Schaeffer.  And meanwhile, the people about whom such magnificent films can be made are losing their old cultures, forgetting how to dance, abandoning the costumes that fitted so spectacularly with the way they moved and spoke.  Once lost, these cultures will be gone irretrievably, lost to their descendants, and lost to the rest of the world.  Neither print nor tape can ever capture the essence of a culture, only film can do this, and yet it is film for which we have hardly any resources for training and for the necessary field work and post-field work processing.  If we saw someone standing beside a deep lake, letting priceless, finely wrought ancient Cretan and Egyptian and Incan ornaments slip one by one into the water, there would be an outcry.  But these precious records of ways of life developed through thousands of years are being let go with hardly a murmur from the surrounding world."  by Margaret Mead

Source:  "More Smoke than Fire: An Introduction."  Film Comment,  July 1971: 34.  Reprinted by Permission.