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Filming in Southern California Again!

So Cal

Beautiful Overlook of Los Angeles from Elysian Park/Echo Park Area

We began the SoCal filming journey on April 25th, 2014 in San Diego.  Athena went there to pick up Jeff from a screening of his film, “One Big Hapa Family,” at Grossmont College.  The drive in traffic was definitely a precursor to how the rest of the week would be filming all across SoCal! Here are the stops we had planned for the week:



As you can see, we really got to run around and Jeff got to see all of the diversity California can offer!  Rodeo Drive to farms in Oxnard, we saw it all!  😀

We also got to enjoy the sunny Cali weather!  It was in the 90’s most days!  Luckily all but one of our shoots were indoors thank goodness!

Here is a brief rundown of our events/shoots April 25-May 4:

4/25/14: Jeff comes to LA, Athena and Jeff attend USC (University of California) dinner with Duncan Williams (Professor and Director of the USC Center for Japanese Religions and Culture).

4/26/14: Athena and Jeff spend the entire day 10am-10pm at Hapa Japan Remix conference and events at USC

4/27/14: Athena and Jeff attend a Hapa Japan meeting and attend a mixer for Hapa Japan attendees and UCLA Mixed Student Union conference attendees.

4/28/14: Jeff and Athena visit Advanced Radiation Center of Beverly Hills to speak with Suzy, an employee there whose sister battled Leukemia.

4/29/14: Jeff and Athena visit CFG – Lighting and Grip Rental in Sunland to check out some local options for lighting rentals.  Then off to El Segundo to interview Farzana, multiracial mom and board member of Multiracial Americans of Southern California.

4/30/14: On the road again!  Jeff and Athena take the day to visit Lily in Oxnard who is a new mom and historian at the Japanese American National Museum.

5/1/14: Jeff and Athena hit the road to visit the City of Hope in Duarte, CA.  They sit down with Joyce who is a recruiter for Be The Match at the City of Hope and met the amazing staff in her office!  Later that evening, Jeff runs off to attend opening festivities for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival at the Directors Guild of America where he will be screening a film on the 3rd and Athena runs off to attend a networking mixer at Chateau Marmont for the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival!

5/2/14: Jeff and Athena plan to meet with patient, Krissy, but unfortunately she cannot and we have to reschedule.  We take the day to brainstorm and take a breather from the 7 days we had going non-stop.  We decided to chill and visit the Japanese American National Museum to visit friend, Kip Fulbeck’s awesome new exhibit, Perserverence!  And of course since we were in J-Town aka Little Tokyo, we got some good Ramen for lunch at Daikokuya! Yum!

5/3/14: Back on our road trip!  This time to Claremont to visit marrow donor, Alex!  We were so excited to connect with her and follow her story!  Then rush back to the LA Asian Pacific Film Fest to be there for Jeff’s screening of Yellow Sticky Notes – Canadian Anijam

5/4/14: We visited our last interviewee, Krystin and her family at their home in Cerritos before Jeff hops on his plane back to Canada!

Stay tuned for more detailed posts of each day’s events!


Support the film, The Power of Two

During the Hapa Japan Festival in Los Angeles in April, we (Jeff and I) had the distinct pleasure of meeting Ana and Isa Stenzel, twin survivors who braved Cystic Fibrosis for most of their lives.

Stenzel Twins

Both young women have beat the odds by surviving not only the disease, but also double lung transplants.  The film, The Power of Two (2011), follows Ana and Isa as they conquer Cystic Fibrosis and bring awareness to their disease not only to the public in the US, but to their mother’s homeland of Japan as well.

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In talking with them, we found many similarities in our mission with Mixed Match and the work we are trying to accomplish through our films…to save lives.

The film will be making its national TV premiere on Link TV and KCET this Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 8pm ET/PT. Be sure not to miss this inspiring and very honest story!The film will also screen for free online from May 22 through June 30 at

The Power of Two  sheds light on Cystic Fibrosis and the need for more organ donors worldwide in a world where many people still maintain cultural stigmas.

To learn more about how you can be an organ donor, visit:


Filming in LA this Spring

After a hiatus, we are back at it and working on some of our last shoots in Los Angeles!  We took some time focusing on our budget and shaping the concept.  We also have entered various contests and applied for grants (shout out to MASC for there generous guidance and help in this process) and we had the privilege of Mixed Match being the recipient of the Super Channel 2012 Feature Documentary Award at the beginning of the year!

We were able to attend the Hapa Japan Festival in April where we filmed Mixed Marrow drives and we were able to show an extended clip during the scholarly conference that week which was well received!

hapa japan 2hapa japan 3hapa japan 4

Be sure to check out the exhibit, Visible and Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History at the Japanese American National Museum which is open through August.  Our trailer is running inside the exhibit theatre along with other great film trailers!

We also had a chance to sit down with Jane Yamashiro who studies race and teaches on the topic.  She gave her insights to how race and ethnicity play in health as well as inherited genetics.

hapa japan 5

Then we had the pleasure of joining patient, Krissy Kobata at a home dinner where we were able to capture some great moments of her with her family…

krissy april 1

…and of course got to see her beloved doggie again who is very much a special part of her family!

krissy april 2

We are happy with everyone’s continued support on our film and are happy that since our last blog entry, we have been able to raise $14,269 on our Indiegogo campaign thanks to the generous donations from the public and we have also got into the Deal Maker program at Hot Docs in Toronto where Jeff will make his film pitch this week!

Please keep up with all of the latest by coming back here to our blog and visiting our facebook page!  We will be filming some more in LA next month and with some new subjects this summer.

Many thanks to all of you for making this possible and your commitment to saving lives!

-Jeff and Athena

Support the Film!

The trailer is up and we are now looking forward to making this film a reality!  Please check out our IndieGoGo campaign as well as see some of what we have put together thus far.

We hope you can join us in making this film happen.  Like the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” …  it will take our community to complete this film.  We need YOU to help make it happen, for our cause and for the thousands of hard-to-match patients who want to share their stories.

Our campaign is off to a great start thanks to some amazing supporters, but we still need to meet our goal to complete the film!  Remember, ALL donations, big or small are appreciated, any little bit helps!! Please spread the word about our project and share our IndieGoGo link with others:

Thanks so much!!  🙂

Filming in LA at the Race in Medicine Panel at UCLA

This Saturday we did some filming at the Race in Medicine panel at UCLA.  The event was hosted by MASC and the Mixed Student Union at UCLA.

(Left to Right: Dorothy Roberts JD, Mike Hodgson, Athena Asklipiadis and Reginald Daniel PhD)

Athena Asklipiadis of Mixed Marrow was a part of the panel along with Dorothy Roberts, author of Fatal Invention and Professor, Reginald Daniel, PhD, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Michael Hodgson, Partner, Cambridge BioMarketing.

The discussion was quite interesting as race and ethnicity was discussed when it comes to medicine in the pharmaceutical world and in other areas of health including transplants.

Today in Thousand Oaks…

Today we caught up with Valerie, a 12-year survivor of a successful marrow transplant to cure her Aplastic Anemia.  We got a chance to visit with her family as well as see a little about her life.

Valerie's step sister, Valerie, Valerie's father and step mother

Valerie speaks about her experience as a survivor


Valerie shows us her medicine stash that she continues to need post transplant

Not only is Valerie an inspiring advocate for marrow donation, but she is also a very talented singer/songwriter.  We got a chance to hear one of her songs, written about her recovery journey.

Valerie sings and plays a song she wrote

Sunny Day in Santa Monica!

Today was day four of shooting in California.  We caught up with patient Krissy, a patient in her twenties still awaiting her perfect match after a 3-year search.  Lucky for us, weather was beautiful so our job today was very pleasant and we definitely took advantage of the sun and sand!

Krissy during filming

Athena with Krissy's puppy, Snowy, Krissy and Jeff

Greg getting some good location shots

Jeff shooting some great beach shots