Writer/Producer Koji Steven Sakai, a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Masters of Professional Writing program, is the founder of Little Nalu Pictures LLC. His film and television projects have played on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock, Paramount+, Roku, and Tubi. He has worked with a variety of talented and award-winning actors and filmmakers, including Cuba Gooding Jr., Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, James Shigeta, Michael Jai White, Mel Gibson, Mickey Rourke, Randall Park, RZA, Samuel L. Jackson, Terrence Howard, and Wilson Cruz.
He has written eleven feature films that have been produced, Haunted Highway (2006), The People I’ve Slept With (2009), Santa & Me (2013), #1 Serial Killer (2013), Dying to Kill (2016), Last Girl (2020), The Commando (2022), Skeletons in the Closet (2022), Nyctophobia (2022), Damaged (2023), and Boneyard (2024). In addition, his screenplay, Romeo, Juliet, & Rosaline, was optioned by Amazon Studios.
One of Koji’s signature projects as a writer and producer was The Commando, starring Michael Jai White and Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke. Commando was directed by Asif Akbar and released by Paramount Pictures in January 2022.
In 2022, Koji wrote and produced Skeletons in the Closet, which will be released in 2023. Skeletons was directed by Lance Kawas and Asif Akbar and stars Oscar nominee Terrence Howard, Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr, Clifton Powell, and Valery M. Ortiz.
Also, in 2022, Koji served as a writer and producer on Nyctophobia. The film stars Bianca D’Ambrosio, Chiara D’Ambrosio, BJ Tanner, Dana Powell, Sean O’Bryan, and Dean McDermott. Nyctophobia was directed by Kim Noonan with executive producer RZA. The film is currently in post-production.
Koji’s two most recent projects are: Damaged, which stars Samuel L. Jackson, Vincent Cassel, Gianni Capaldi, Kate Dickie, and John Hannah, and was directed by Terry McDonough. And Boneyard, which stars Mel Gibson, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Brian Van Holt, and Nora Zehetner; produced by Colin Bates and Vincent McDaniel; and directed by Asif Akbar.
Koji has recently completed writing for a Japanese television series slated for Disney+ (Hulu in the United States).
He has produced nine feature films, The People I’ve Slept With, #1 Serial Killer, Dying to Kill, Last Girl, The Commando, Skeletons in the Closet, Nyctophobia, Are You There? and most recently, Boneyard; Dwayne Perkins: Take Note (2015), a one-hour comedy special that originally aired on Netflix; Comedy InvAsian and Comedy InvAsian 2.0 (2017 to present), a television series featuring the nation’s top Asian American comedians, Season 1 originally premiered on Hulu and Season 2 premiered on Peacock in May of 2022, and Brash Girls Club (2019), a limited comedy series that premiered on Tubi.
Koji Steven Sakai’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies was released in paperback by Luthando Coeur in 2015 and in audiobook in 2016, his Amazon Kindle World novella, Operation Survive was released in the October of 2016, his graphic novel, 442 was released in February 2017 by Stela and in print by Little Nalu Pictures LLC in 2019, his novel, Zombie Run was released in print and ebook in May of 2019 by Solstice Publishing and in audiobook by Little Nalu Pictures LLC in 2023, his graphic novel, Santa Vs. Zombies was released in 2019 by Outland Entertainment, and his most recent novel, Secession, by Central Park South Publishing and in audiobook on Audible.
His stories have been featured in New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei, Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, Secret Identities Volume 2: Shattered, and Pho for Life.
He has received several prestigious fellowships, writing awards, and grants. They include the Screenwriting Expo 4: New Visions Fellowship Award (2005), Visual Communication’s Armed with a Camera fellowship (2006), Film Independent’s Project: Involve fellowship (2007), The Writers Boot Camp Fellowship (2009), The Producers Guild: Power of Diversity Workshop fellowship (2009), California Civil Liberties Public Education Grant (2016), and the Tribeca Film Institute Pond5 Program grant (2019).
He has also served as a judge for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival screenwriting competition, UCLA Extension’s Feature Film Writing Competition, the Final Draft Big Break screenwriting competition, the Holidays 365 International Film Festival, CineStory TV Contest, and a mentor at the CineStory Foundation retreat.
He writes, produces, and co-hosts The Unofficial Official Story Podcast with actor Jennifer Field and comedian Dwayne Perkins. They look at the paranormal, conspiracies, true crime, and the unexplainable and try to come up with what really happened. They have welcomed guests such as actor Randall Park, comedian Ben Gleib, comedian and podcaster Randy Sklar, and iconic West Coast rapper Ras Kass. The Unofficial Official is currently in their third season.
Koji’s passion for writing is only matched by his love to teach others how to do it. He is a screenwriting instructor at UCLA Extension and New York Film Academy and has taught at Chapman University. In 2020, he launched an online screenwriting course on Udemy.
He lives with his wife, eleven-year-old son, and one-year-old Shepard mix in South Pasadena, California. He loves the Lakers and coaching youth baseball… Go Rangers!