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 written eight 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), and Skeletons in the Closet (2022). In addition, his screenplay, Romeo, Juliet, & Rosaline, was optioned by Amazon Studios.
Earlier this year, Koji wrote and produced the feature film, The Commando, starring Michael Jai White and Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke and was directed by Asif Akbar. The Commando was released by Paramount Pictures in January 2022.
Koji’s latest feature film, Skeletons in the Closet, recently completed production in Las Vegas. Skeletons was directed by Lance Kawas and Asif Akbar and stars Oscar nominee Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow, Empire), Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr (Jerry Maguire), Clifton Powell (Ray), and Valery M. Ortiz (2 Minutes of Fame). Koji is credited as a writer and producer on this project.
Koji is currently a staff writer for a Japanese television series slated for Disney+ (Hulu in the United States).
He has produced six feature films, The People I’ve Slept With, #1 Serial Killer, Dying to Kill, Last Girl, and The Commando; Dwayne Perkins: Take Note (2015), a one-hour comedy special that originally aired on Netflix; Comedy InvAsian (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 this year, and Brash Girls Club (2019), a limited comedy series that premiered on Tubi TV.
Koji’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies, was originally published by Luthando Coeur in 2015, and in audiobook in 2016, his Amazon Kindle World novella, Operation Survive, was released in 2016, and his graphic novel, 442, was released online in 2017 by Stela and in print by Little Nalu Pictures LLC in 2019. His latest novel, Zombie Run, was released in print and ebook in 2019 by Solstice Publishing, his graphic novel, Santa Vs. Zombies, was released in print in 2019 by Outland Entertainment, and his latest comic book, Yasuke: The African Samurai, was also released in print by Outland Entertainment.
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 Tribecca 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, and a mentor at the CineStory Foundation retreat.
He produces and hosts The Unofficial Official Story Podcast with co-hosts 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.
Koji’s passion for writing is only matched by his love to teach others how to do it. He is currently 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 and ten-year-old son in South Pasadena, California. Don’t tell his family, but his true love is the Los Angeles Lakers, whom he follows with such passion it drives his loved ones crazy — especially during the playoffs.