FILIPINO American film “Lumpia: With A Vengeance” secured the Audience Award at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF).
The film won against a strong field of international and domestic features, of which several have high profiles, bigger budgets and, importantly, distribution deals in place.
“Our Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to ‘Lumpia With A Vengeance’ which is definitely a fan favorite this year in Hawaii,” announced Beckie Stocchetti, HIFF Executive Director.
‘Lumpia: With A Vengeance’ is the sequel to Patricio Ginelsa’s 2003 homemade action-comedy movie called “Lumpia.” It tells the story of a lumpia-armed hero who returns to Fogtown and teams up with high school student Rachel to prevent a mysterious crime boss from destroying the town.
Ginelsa expressed his elation for the film’s achievement.
“I screamed my head off,” he said in a statement. “And I think that’s when it hit me: that all the hard work we had put in was validated in that announcement knowing that it came from all types of people who truly enjoyed our movie.”
Meanwhile, the film’s editor and co-producer AJ Calomay said: “I’m so incredibly proud of our incredible cast and crew and of Patricio for his determination to push his vision forward.”
“Getting (the audience award) means that people connected with the film emotionally and we’re really proud that within the wild action scenes and flying lumpia, there truly is a human story that not only spoke to people but, they had fun watching it as well,” he added.
The filmmakers also took pride in having the majority of the cast and crew being Filipinos and Filipino Americans.
“We are most assuredly thankful to the Hawai’i International Film Festival for welcoming our movie and providing the various venues that allowed audiences to watch it the way we had intended: in a community setting,” said Ginelsa.
“And as always for their Aloha throughout,” he added.
“Lumpia: With A Vengeance,” filmed primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area, stars former UFC contender Mark Muñoz, April Absynth, Darion Basco, and Danny Trejo (“Machete”).