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Almost Asian

Almost Asian is a short-form scripted comedy series about perpetual outsider, Katie, as she stumbles through life in Los Angeles as a half-Asian millennial mix.

Los Angeles, CA - "Almost Asian" is a short-scripted digital comedy series about a mixed-raced millennial on the verge of a biracial identity crisis. For half-Asian Angeleno, Katie, being mixed-race means never being enough - all she wants is to belong, but for her to feel fully accepted, she must first love and accept the one thing she fears the most: her whole self.

Each episode explores the ethnic dichotomies and racial diversities prevalent in youth culture today and polaroids Katie's personal and professional struggles as she awkwardly attempts to maneuver through life as a half-Asian mix. From stereotypes to expectations to identity and acceptance, "Almost Asian" not only wants to create an open forum and dialogue for other millennial "halfers" but also celebrate their success and strife with a wink. The writing is unapologetic and voice, brash, as Katie half-sheds the quiet and submissive Japanese female stereotype and elbows her way to a seat at society's set table. New episodes are released every month and both directed and edited by award-winning creatives.

Seven episodes out of twelve from the first season are in the submission. The first episode in this screener is unreleased.

All episodes can be viewed on AlmostAsian.com

"Growing up half-Asian was very confusing. From filling out ethnicity sections in college applications to introducing lunch trades with pre-trending Japanese food on the grade school playground, before the United Colors of Benetton effect took hold, being the byproduct of an interracial couple was new. Nobody was talking about it, especially in suburban America. Before Obama and yes, Keanu came along, there was no half-anything to admire as a role model, particularly a female one. So it's really no surprise that my best friend growing up was also half-Japanese due to our similar childhood experiences. And by expanding on these shared experiences, my intention with "Almost Asian" is to celebrate the nuanced mixed-ethnic identity while challenging our social conventions regarding race, nationality, and culture through a comedic lens. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that more than half of the nation's children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group by 2020, referring to all kids under the age of 18. So yeah. We're not goin' anywhere."

Katie Malia is an "ethnically-ambiguous." performer and writer in Los Angeles. She writes and performs sketch, improv and stand up around Los Angeles and produced the short film, "VARMiNT," which won the Grand Jury Prize at Dances with Films Festival in Hollywood, the Audience Award at New Orleans Film Festival in 2013, and was a Vimeo "Staff Pick" in 2014. Her short-form digital series “Almost Asian” has been featured on PRI's "The World" on NPR, Washington Post, and Huffington Post. “Almost Asian” is also an official selection to multiple film festivals including the 2016 Raindance Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival and Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in 2017. Katie was a performer and writer in the 2016 CBS Diversity Comedy Showcase.

As an actress, she has been in over 100 national commercials with numerous acclaimed directors like Mike Mills, Marc Forster, Jon Watts, Fredrik Bond, Rupert Sanders, Todd Haynes and more, and her TV credits include "The Mindy Project," "How I Met Your Mother," HBO’s "Hello Ladies" with a recent Guest Star on "Hawaii Five-O" and FOX’s "Sleepy Hollow." She is also a successful dancer and choreographer and has performed at the Walt Disney Hall’s Red Cat Theater and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in downtown Los Angeles. Her work with choreographers include Fatima Robinson, Michael Rooney, Michelle Johnston, Rich & Tone Talauega, Hi-Hat, Marty Kudelka and Ryan Heffington to name a few.

Before returning to her Southern California roots, Katie studied dance and English literature at Barnard College at Columbia University in New York with a summer Shakespearean study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. She lives in Silver Lake and continues to study at The Groundlings in Los Angeles. Oh yeah, and she hates the term, "ethnically-ambiguous."


  • Joel Knoernschild
    Comedy Central, American Crime Story, VARMiNT
  • Jonathan Dortch
    Star Wars, Captain America, Jurassic World
  • Andrew Gura
    Questlove Documentary, Def Jam Music Videos
  • Chris McPherson
    Commercial Director at Hungryman.com
  • Jessica Sanders
    After Innocence, March of the Living
  • Katie Malia
    CBS Diversity Comedy Showcase
  • Katie Malia
  • Katie Malia
    Key Cast
    Hello Ladies, The Mindy Project, How I Met Your Mother
  • Horatio Sanz
    Key Cast
    Saturday Night Live
  • Steven M. Porter
    Key Cast
    Hart of Dixie, Million Dollar Baby
  • Kate McGregor-Stewart
    Key Cast
  • Mike Faiola
    Key Cast
  • Brian T. Finney
    Key Cast
    Million Dollar Baby
  • Vivian Bang
    Key Cast
    Sullivan and Son
  • Kendall Jones
    Key Cast
    True Blood
  • Michael Sun Lee
    Key Cast
    Fuller House
  • Scott Yamamura
    Key Cast
    CBS Diversity Comedy Showcase
  • Blair Beeken
    Key Cast
    2 Broke Girls
  • Project Type:
    Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 52 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 15, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 30, 2017
  • 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival
    United States
    April 2, 2017
  • 2016 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
    United States
    November 18, 2016
  • 2016 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
    November 14, 2016
    Canada Premiere
  • 2016 Raindance Web Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 1, 2016
    Europe and UK premiere
  • 2016 UK Web Fest
    United Kingdom
    October 29, 2016
  • 2016 NYC Web Fest
    New York City
    United States
    November 10, 2016
  • 2016 Miami Web Fest
    United States
    September 30, 2016
    Miami Premiere
    Nominated for "Best Sketch Comedy" and "Directing"
  • 2016 New Media Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    July 20, 2016
    World premiere
    Nominated for "Best Webseries"
  • 2016 Mixed Remixed Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    June 11, 2016
Director Biography - Joel Knoernschild, Jonathan Dortch, Andrew Gura, Chris McPherson, Jessica Sanders

Born in Southern California skateboarding and surfing, Joel Knoernschild is an Emmy award winning director and has been scouted for his unique voice, directing award winning content for top brands, musicians and advertising such as Warner Bros Records, MINI Cooper, Coldplay, Gary Numan, Hurley Intl, MTV, Kimpton Hotels and more, garnering him millions of views worldwide.

Joel's short film, VARMiNT recently Won the Audience Award at the New Orleans Film Festival, Won the Grand Jury Prize at Dances with Films in Los Angeles, had its online debut on Short of the Week.com in August, 2014 and was chosen as a Vimeo Staff Pick.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Web series are mini-hurricanes of intensity. Limited financial resource and insufficient time, but what they lack, they make-up with passion and the fevered will to say something that’s near and dear to the filmmaker’s hearts, and Almost Asian couldn’t be more personal.

Growing up Japanese / German-American with my sister (writer and creator Katie Malia), Almost Asian is our story growing up mixed in Southern California. While all the other grade school kids received bologna sandwiches for lunch, we got “weird” (as perceived by our 8-year-old peers) bento boxes filled with onigiri rice balls and glass noodles, complete with wooden chopsticks (where was our spork?!). A cultural hodgepodge of “homework first” and institutionalized “family first” cross-Pacific values combined with Southern California beach culture.

While 5.6% of America is made up of Asian Americans, we’re proud to be one of the 1.3 million Japanese Americans coupled with an even less percentage of culturally diverse Americans who are mixed-up. Half-Japanese. Half-German. 100% Confused.