Francis Custodio was working as a Certified Public Accountant at Devereaux, Kuhner, and Co. LLP when he decided to pursue his Master of Science degree in Tax at Golden Gate University. He wanted to further his education and help his clients. Plus, GGU was just a couple of blocks from his office, and his firm covered his educational costs.
“I attended GGU for 10 years,” recalled Francis, who graduated with distinction in 2019. “I could only take one class at a time because I was juggling work and three kids while coaching baseball and basketball. The flexibility that GGU provides working parents is amazing.”
Starting in 2016, Francis juggled school, work, and family responsibilities along with an additional priority: starring in a movie. Crowd-funded nine years ago and shot in Daly City, action-comedy film Lumpia With a Vengeance highlights Filipino culture with a storyline centered around lumpia, a popular Filipino spring roll. The movie won the audience award at the Hawaii International Film Festival and concluded its run with a sold-out premiere at San Diego Comic-Con. This Friday, September 30th, the film opens in select theaters for Filipino American History Month and is co-presented by the Filipino American National Historical Society.
“Since age nine, I’ve been making homemade movies in Daly City with a childhood friend who was an aspiring director,” explained Francis. “Every summer a group of us would make something and share it among friends. We made our first film, Lumpia 1, when I was 16 for fun, and it grew a cult following.”
After the success of Lumpia 1, Francis was approached about acting in the sequel, Lumpia With a Vengeance. At the time, he had just made partner and was still juggling GGU courses with work and family responsibilities.
“I said, I know it’s going to be a lot of work, but I know it will be worth it,” recalled Francis. “I’m glad that I took the ride with them and made this film.”
Francis acknowledges being both a CPA and an actor is unique.
“It’s a little surreal sometimes to leave the office during tax season to go to film festivals where you get to sign autographs and all that fun stuff,” said Francis. “The filming side is my creativity. I think outside the box for my clients, and I’m always their advocate. But I’ve also always had an interest in making movies.”
In his tax career, Francis’ GGU education helps him generate more business and expand his expertise in the world of taxation. Francis had such a great experience at GGU that he regularly encourages his employees to earn an advanced degree in tax with the firm’s support.
“The professionalism and expertise the GGU faculty bring is amazing,” reflected Francis. “I learned so much that has benefited my clients and employees.”
Today, Francis is thrilled that Lumpia With a Vengeance is opening nationwide. The film also features Hollywood’s Danny Trejo and MMA star Mark Muñoz, with an original soundtrack that includes songs by Apl.de.Ap of Black Eyes Peas and Ruby Ibarra.
Members of the GGU community who would like to support Francis’ independent film are encouraged to see it in theaters this opening weekend.
“This month is Filipino history month, and next month is Filipino heritage month,” commented Francis. “What better way for people to celebrate our history and heritage than by watching a Filipino film?”
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