A Surprise Hit, Filipino-Theme Home Movie Filmed in Daly City Spawns Sequel

After a Filipino American home movie shot mostly in Daly City became a hit, the makers created a sequel, which has already won an award.

A Surprise Hit, Filipino-Theme Home Movie Filmed in Daly City Spawns Sequel

DALY CITY (KPIX ) — After a Filipino-American home movie shot mostly in Daly City became a hit, the makers created a sequel, which has already won an award.

It’s an action comedy featuring lumpia. The Filipino egg roll stars in two movies Patricio Ginelsa wrote and directed.

“We use it as a comic book device, as our main hero weaponized it to protect Fogtown, which is Daly City,” Ginelsa explained.

As a 12-year-old kid, Ginelsa rounded up friends like 9-year-old Francis Custodio to make home movies about superheroes in their Daly City neighborhood.

During summertime, they would make movies in and around Hillside Park and share them with their friends at school.

Years later, as a film student at the University of Southern California, Ginelsa reunited the group in their hometown to make the movie, called Lumpia.

“It became somewhat of a cult hit,” he said. “It’s a wacky comedy. There’s nothing wrong with having fun but it’s also a movie that has a Filipino-American as our hero.”

The sequel, Lumpia with a Vengeance, won the audience award for Best Narrative Film at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

The Lumpia films, which each took seven years to make, reflect growing up Filipino American and explore prejudice from within the ethnic community.

“There are stories that affected us growing up, such as bullying,” Custodio said. “Filipinos that came from the Philippines versus Americanized Filipinos and how they interact among each other.”

Riding on Lumpia’s popularity, the sequel raised $50,000 in crowdfunding from almost 800 donors.

Former UFC fighter Mark Munoz and Hollywood star Danny Trejo joined the acting team.

Custodio, a partner at a San Francisco CPA firm, says the production has come a long way from the home movie days, when Ginelsa recorded with a camcorder and they used a boom microphone made with a hockey stick.

“We actually have a script. No more Patricio throwing us lines as we start filming you know,” Custodio laughed.

They even created Lumpia comic books.

Led by Ginelsa, who now lives in Southern California and works at USC, the 200-plus member cast and crew are all part-time filmmakers who are opening new doors of opportunity for Asian Americans.

“Now more than ever, it’s important for our stories to be made and seen,” said Ginelsa.

The popularity of the Lumpia movies show audiences are hungry for their stories.

Editor’s Note: KPIX news production assistant Lisa Chong is one of the producers of the Lumpia movies

Source : CBS San Francisco More   

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Goldstein Investigates: Scammers Going Old School In Attempt To Defraud EDD

While it's hard to tell how much fraud is being perpetrated by the fax scam alone, it has been estimated that as much as 10% of benefits paid out have been fraudulent.

Goldstein Investigates: Scammers Going Old School In Attempt To Defraud EDD

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The state is spending millions of dollars with high-tech companies to try and stop unemployment fraud at the California Employment Development Department, but some scammers might be using a pre-internet method to outsmart the system.

Scammers might have found a new way to defraud EDD using fax machines in an attempt to bypass the state’s high-tech identity verification process. (CBSLA)

Sources recently told CBS Los Angeles Investigative Reporter David Goldstein that faxes have been coming in fast and furious since the last stimulus plan extended unemployment benefits.

Faxes obtained show claims coming from area codes all across the country with people looking for checks, claiming they’re out of work from jobs in California. There was a fax from the 240 area code in Maryland, the 617 area code in Boston, the 615 area code in Nashville and even an 876 area code from Jamaica.

And while it is not illegal to collect unemployment if you moved to another state and legitimately lost your job in California, experts said the large number of faxes coming in are a telltale sign of potential fraud.

Blake Hall, founder of ID.me, said sending information via fax sounded like a way to get around his company’s identity verification process. The state previously signed a multi-million dollar contract with the company to verify filers’ identities in an effort to cut down on fraud.

But now it seems that scammers have figured out yet another way around the safeguard.

“If they realize I can fax something in or I can use the mail-in channel, and ID.me’s verification isn’t there, then they’re always looking for a process that can defraud the state,” Hall said. “That’s the weak link in the chain, so to speak.”

Documents obtained by CBSLA also showed people living in California might be trying to scam the system by fax, including a person named Xavier who filed twice from a 323 area code — once to make a claim for a 108-year-old unemployed worker born in 1913.

“Scammers know that California EDD has been a target of opportunity to say the least, so I’m not surprised that they’re trying,” Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, said.

Patterson sits on a committee that oversees EDD and has been critical of the department’s handling of fraudulent claims — now estimated to top $11 billion — and the long delays legitimate filers have faced while attempting to certify.

“My hope is that EDD has learned the lesson of the last year and is actually catching them and denying these claims,” he said.

An EDD spokesperson said that while the faxed in claims do not go through the ID.me verification process, they do go through some sort of fraud screening.

And while it’s hard to tell how much fraud is being perpetrated by the fax scam alone, it has been estimated that as much as 10% of benefits paid out have been fraudulent.

Source : CBS Los Angeles More   

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