A Japanese American pointing to the strong asian lead logo on his seater
Mas Moriya, an asian american, on stage at a the asian hustle network conference in vegas accepting the unsung hero award 2023
An asian american on the stage speaking about asian american film history
Mas Moriya, an asian american, on stage at a film screening of flower drum song

Masami 'Mas' Moriya

Founder and CEO

A Legacy of Storytelling

Mas Moriya is not just a name; it’s a brand that stands for storytelling, activism, and community building. As the founder of Strong Asian Lead, Mas has been instrumental in creating a space for Asian Americans in the film industry.

Mas (he/him), a fifth-generation Japanese American hailing from the Inland Empire of Southern California, is the driving force behind Strong Asian Lead, an initiative also known as the Asian American Film School. As the founder, Mas is deeply committed to aiding emerging writers in breaking industry barriers, aiding them in penning their first screenplays, and introducing them to influential managers or production companies.

Early Creative Career

Specializing in historical family dramas, Mas channels his experiences as a Japanese American into his craft. This identity-driven approach enables him to narrate stories often left untold in mainstream media, making him a pioneering figure in the industry.

Mas’s journey is as fascinating as the narratives he brings to life. After a Southern Californian upbringing, he made his way to New York, launching his career as an independent filmmaker and photographer, even working for Alicia Keys. During his time in the Big Apple, Mas established a nonprofit for photographers aiming to document the efforts and protests of other nonprofit organizations.

Moving Back to Los Angeles

Mas’s journey came full circle when he embraced his Asian American identity and chose to return to his roots. This self-discovery led him back to screenwriting, focusing on the poignant narrative of the Japanese American Internment during WWII. This passion also spurred his return to Los Angeles, where he reinvigorated his filmmaking career, starting from the ground up in the Hollywood tradition as an art department production assistant in 2020.

The Hollywood shutdown during the pandemic could have been a setback, but Mas used it as an opportunity to delve deeper into his screenwriting. This period also marked the birth of Strong Asian Lead, a partnership with Emi Lea Kamemoto. Initially an Instagram platform educating followers about Asian American activist leaders and history, it soon morphed into a scalable resource database for Asian Americans in film and television.

Vision for the Future

As I look ahead, I see a future rich with opportunities for storytelling, community building, and meaningful impact. My ultimate goal is to serve as a Showrunner or Creative Producer at a studio, specializing in Asian American historical dramas. While I have my own stories to tell, I am equally passionate about helping others bring their narratives to life.

Professional Aspirations

I envision myself leading a team of talented individuals who share my passion for authentic storytelling. Together, we will produce content that not only entertains but also educates and inspires. I will continue to lead Strong Asian Lead, but with a dedicated team to manage the day-to-day operations, allowing me to focus on strategic growth and partnerships.

Geographic Flexibility

Living bicoastally between New York and Los Angeles will offer the best of both worlds—access to the heart of the entertainment industry in LA and the cultural diversity and dynamism of New York. This will also allow me to tap into different networks and resources, further enriching the work that I do.

Financial Goals

Financial freedom is a significant part of my future plans, but not for the reasons one might think. Accumulating wealth for me is not an end but a means to an end. I aim to be financially secure not for the sake of luxury but for the ability to help as many people as I can. I want to invest in projects, initiatives, and people that align with my values and contribute to the betterment of the Asian American community and society at large.

Community Impact

Strong Asian Lead will continue to be a significant part of my life. With a reliable team managing the organization and its podcast, I will be able to focus on broader initiatives and partnerships. My financial stability will enable me to fund projects and scholarships, sponsor events, and provide resources to those who need them most.

Personal Life

On a personal level, financial stability will also allow me to support my family, ensuring that they too can pursue their dreams without financial constraints. It’s a holistic vision where professional success and personal well-being go hand in hand.

In summary, my future is one where I can maximize my impact—whether it’s through the stories I help create, the community I help build, or the lives I help change. Thank you for being a part of this journey.


Mas Moriya, originally known as David Moriya, chose to embrace the name “Mas” as a tribute to his family’s rich history and legacy. Read more about why he changed his name.



AGENT: Prestigious Powerhouse

MANAGER: James Smith @ Aaron Kogan Managment

Go For Broke National Education CenterKizuna Board Fellow – 2022



  • Circle Member of Rideback Rise (2023)
  • Semi-Finalist in the JHRTS 2022 Script Competition
  • Best Narrative at Boston International 2014
  • Winner at Asians on Film Summer 2016

Screenwriting Accolades:

  • Finalist, ScreenCraft True Story & Public Domain Competition, 2020
  • Finalist, WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Lab, Spring 2020
  • Quarterfinalist, Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards, Holiday Season Competition, 2019
  • Second Rounder, ScreenCraft Film Fund, Spring 2019

Project Rankings:

  • Top 6% of all 113,607 projects
  • Top 11% of 3,257 Historical projects
  • Top 8% of 17,256 Television (One-hour) projects
  • Top 16% of 794 Television (One-hour) Historical projects

Short Film Recognition:

  • Germaphobia: Best Horror Asians on Film, 2017; Official Selection at Palm Springs International Film Festival, New York International Film Festival, Cinevision 2017
  • Ties: Official Selection at Boston International Film Festival, 2015
  • Piece of Cake: Ranked in the Top 8 at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Media Mentions:

Mas’s work has been featured in various media outlets, including:

Photography Clients:


  • Asian Hustle Network (AHN) Unsung Hero 2023