Mas Moriya

Founder, Screenwriter, and Educator

Mas Moriya’s career is a testament to the power of storytelling, advocacy, and innovation in the entertainment industry. Born and raised in Southern California, with a transformative chapter in New York, Mas’s journey from capturing live events as a freelance photographer to becoming an influential advocate for Asian American narratives in cinema is marked by dedication, creativity, and a relentless pursuit of change.

This image features Mas Moriya, an Asian American and Japanese American filmmaker. He is pictured with a warm and engaging smile, standing in front of a vibrant yellow backdrop that complements his yellow hoodie, layered beneath a dark denim jacket. His casual yet thoughtful style, along with his personable demeanor, reflects the creative and approachable nature characteristic of his work and public persona.

At the heart of Mas’s work is a profound connection to his heritage, a motivation that drove him back to filmmaking and screenwriting, focusing on stories that highlight resilience, injustice, and the rich tapestry of the Asian American experience. Notable projects like “Enemy Alien,” a poignant series about WWII Japanese American incarceration, and the documentary on hid uncle, veteran actor Sab Shimono, illustrate his commitment to bringing nuanced, historically significant narratives to the forefront.

A Japanese American pointing to the strong asian lead logo on his seater
A Japanese American pointing to the strong asian lead logo on his seater

At the heart of Mas’s work is a profound connection to his heritage, a motivation that drove him back to filmmaking and screenwriting, focusing on stories that highlight resilience, injustice, and the rich tapestry of the Asian American experience. Notable projects like “Enemy Alien,” a poignant series about WWII Japanese American incarceration, and the documentary on hid uncle, veteran actor Sab Shimono, illustrate his commitment to bringing nuanced, historically significant narratives to the forefront.

In 2016, Mas founded Rogue Photo, channeling his photography skills towards social advocacy. This venture underscored his belief in the arts as a catalyst for social change, providing non-profits with the visual storytelling tools needed during a politically charged election year. His return to Los Angeles saw him dive deeper into the industry, contributing behind the scenes to various productions until the pandemic spurred the creation of Strong Asian Lead. This initiative, born out of his parents’ garage, quickly became a beacon for Asian American advocacy within the entertainment world, dedicated to elevating narratives and creating opportunities for underrepresented voices.

Mas Moriya, an asian american, on stage at a the asian hustle network conference in vegas accepting the unsung hero award 2023

November 2022 marked a new chapter as Mas embraced AI, specifically ChatGPT, pioneering the integration of artificial intelligence in Hollywood’s storytelling processes. Through workshops and the development of innovative tools like a leading industry data resource and a talent sourcing app, he has empowered creatives to harness AI, ensuring the artist remains at the core of their narrative.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Mas is passionate about cycling, exploring works by Asian American authors, and reflecting on his New York days. His journey, from the vibrant streets of New York to becoming a pivotal figure in Hollywood’s evolving landscape, underscores his vision for a future where Asian Americans and all underrepresented communities are not just seen but celebrated and heard.

 

A note from Mas:

 

My story is not merely a list of achievements but a living invitation to engage with the transformative power of storytelling. If you’re inspired by the prospect of meaningful collaboration or wish to contribute to this narrative change, I encourage you to reach out.

For inquiries, partnerships, or speaking engagement please contact me at info@strongasianlead.com. Together, we can create a more inclusive, reflective, and dynamic entertainment industry.

 

Please Note:

While I am always eager to connect with fellow creatives and advocates, I kindly request that you refrain from sending unsolicited materials, such as screenplays, casting calls, crew calls, or requests for project assistance directly to my email. If you’re looking for feedback, support, or collaboration opportunities, I encourage you to join our vibrant community by signing up for our membership platform or purchasing our coverage services. This ensures your projects receive the attention and support they deserve within a structured and supportive environment. For more information and to become a part of our community, please visit [website link].

Thank you for understanding and for your commitment to enriching our storytelling landscape.

An asian american on the stage speaking about asian american film history
Other Summary
  • Identity: Mixed-race, Japanese-American, fifth-generation.
  • Origin: Southern California, Inland Empire.
  • Transplant: New York/Brooklyn from 2015-2019
  • Current: Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA

Professional Highlights:

  • Strong Asian Lead: Founder. Focus on assisting emerging writers and connecting them with industry professionals.
  • Skills: Professional event photography, video editing, analog digitization, DSLR filmmaking, podcasting, web design, LLM prompt engineer
  • Screenwriting: Book Adaptations and family dramas influenced by Japanese-American heritage and Asian American literature.

Career Journey:

  • Early Career: Independent filmmaker and photographer in New York, including work with Alicia Keys.
  • Nonprofit Involvement: Established a photography nonprofit for documenting nonprofit organization activities.
  • Los Angeles Return: Screenwriting with a focus on Japanese American Internment stories. Art department production assistant in Hollywood.
  • Entrepreneur: Developed Strong Asian Lead into a resource database and Hollywood career advancement platform. 

Future Vision:

  • Career Goal: Aspire to be a Showrunner or Creative Producer, specializing in Asian American historical dramas.
  • Strong Asian Lead: Continue leading with an emphasis on strategic growth and nurturing a dedicated management team.

AGENT: Prestigious Powerhouse

Representatives:

AGENT: Prestigious Powerhouse

LIT MANAGER: Aaron Kogan Managment

Filmmaking/Screenwriting

  • 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
 

Enemy Alien 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
Read more about Enemy Alien: https://strongasianlead.com/enemyalien/ 
 

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:

I’ve also worked with the following notable artists and organizations:

Phowefwefwefwefaphyfdw Clients:


Awards:

  • Asian Hustle Network (AHN) Unsung Hero 2023
  •  

Other

Mas Moriya, an asian american, on stage at a film screening of flower drum song

While Mas Moriya’s commercial experiences have occasionally placed him in front of the camera, it’s noteworthy that he does not identify as an actor nor is he pursuing a career in acting. Mas’s primary focus remains on his filmmaking and advocacy efforts. However, he remains open to considering television spots, commercials, and modeling engagements, provided they align with his values and the compensation meets his criteria.

 

AGENT: Prestigious Powerhouse

In 2021, I made the decision to change my name from David to Mas, a name deeply rooted in my family’s history and legacy. The name ‘Mas’ is a tribute to a lineage of strong and resilient individuals who have shaped my identity and values. My middle name, Masami, was also the middle name of my Uncle Robert Moriya, who was tragically killed by a police officer in 1988. The name carries the weight of his memory and serves as a constant reminder of the social justice issues that are close to my heart.

The name ‘Mas’ also connects me to my father, whose middle name is Masuharu, and my great-grandfather Masuichi. Even further back, my great-great-grandfather was Masu Matsumoto, and his wife was Masukichi. As you can see, the name ‘Mas’ has been passed down through generations, each carrying its own story and significance.

Interestingly, my mother used to affectionately call my father ‘Mas,’ even though it isn’t his first name. When I asked her what it meant, she humorously said it meant ‘cool guy.’ While that’s a cherished family moment, the name ‘Mas’ actually translates to ‘becoming beautiful,’ which resonates with my journey of self-discovery, growth, and activism.

Changing my name to Mas is more than just a personal choice; it’s a way to honor my family’s history, to carry forward the legacy of those who came before me, and to add my own chapter to a story that spans generations.

Masami 'Mas' Moriya

Founder and CEO

I’m Mas Moriya, and let me tell you, life’s been quite the adventure so far. I’ve always believed in carving my own path, which led me into the buzzing world of Hollywood. But here’s the twist – I’m not your typical industry guy. I’ve got this insatiable passion for storytelling, especially those stories that resonate with my Asian American heritage. You know, the kind that makes you think, laugh, and maybe even shed a tear or two.

I’m not just about making films or snapping photos. I founded Strong Asian Lead because, well, I saw a gap that needed filling. We’re talking about empowering Asian American creatives, providing resources, guidance, and a community that backs each other. It’s more than a mission; it’s a movement.

When I’m not mentoring or redefining mainstream perceptions of Asian American narratives, you’ll find me on my bike, exploring every nook and cranny of the city, or maybe getting lost in a good book. I’ve got this thing for culture and experiences – they fuel my creativity. And hey, who knows? One day you might catch me flipping pancakes on my own food truck. That’s right, cooking’s another one of my passions. I’m all about integrating my personal interests with my professional life.

Speaking of professional, I’ve got this dream – to be the leading voice in Asian American cinema. You know, creating those narratives that are not just culturally impactful but also hit the big time. And while I’m at it, mentoring the next generation of AANHPI storytellers, building those crucial industry partnerships. 

Sure, I’ve had my share of ups and downs. There’s this constant tussle between anxiety and self-doubt, especially in the dating scene. It’s not all red carpets and premiere nights.  Overcoming these challenges, turning them into fuel for my work – that’s what keeps me grounded and driven.

In my quieter moments, you’ll find me in thrift shops, scouting for the next unique piece to add to my casual yet edgy wardrobe. I’m that guy who paints his own jackets – a touch of artistic flair, you know? It’s all about expressing myself, whether it’s through fashion, photography, or the written word.

I am to lift others as I climb. That’s why I’m so invested in building Strong Asian Lead, in mentoring, and in creating a space where Asian American stories aren’t just heard, but are celebrated. It’s about breaking those stereotypes and creating a new narrative, one that’s rich, diverse, and truly reflective of our experiences.

Reborn as “Mas”

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.

Reborn as “Mas”

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.

Other Summary

  • Identity: Mixed-race, Japanese-American, fifth-generation.
  • Origin: Southern California, Inland Empire.
  • Transplant: New York/Brooklyn from 2015-2019
  • Current: Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA

Professional Highlights:

  • Strong Asian Lead: Founder. Focus on assisting emerging writers and connecting them with industry professionals.
  • Skills: Professional event photography, video editing, analog digitization, DSLR filmmaking, podcasting, web design, LLM prompt engineer
  • Screenwriting: Book Adaptations and family dramas influenced by Japanese-American heritage and Asian American literature. 

Career Journey:

  • Early Career: Independent filmmaker and photographer in New York, including work with Alicia Keys.
  • Nonprofit Involvement: Established a photography nonprofit for documenting nonprofit organization activities.
  • Los Angeles Return: Screenwriting with a focus on Japanese American Internment stories. Art department production assistant in Hollywood.
  • Entrepreneur: Developed Strong Asian Lead into a resource database and Hollywood career advancement platform. 

Future Vision:

  • Career Goal: Aspire to be a Showrunner or Creative Producer, specializing in Asian American historical dramas.
  • Strong Asian Lead: Continue leading with an emphasis on strategic growth and nurturing a dedicated management team.

AGENT: Prestigious Powerhouse

Representatives:

AGENT: Prestigious Powerhouse

MANAGER: James Smith @ Aaron Kogan Managment

 

Filmmaking/Screenwriting

  • 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:


Awards:

  • Asian Hustle Network (AHN) Unsung Hero 2023

Other

This image features Mas Moriya, an Asian American and Japanese American filmmaker. He is pictured with a warm and engaging smile, standing in front of a vibrant yellow backdrop that complements his yellow hoodie, layered beneath a dark denim jacket. His casual yet thoughtful style, along with his personable demeanor, reflects the creative and approachable nature characteristic of his work and public persona.
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