Samohi’s Matthew Tapia’s Story Of Survival Inspires Film

Sunday, 25 May 2014, 12:00:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

The short film 'Matt' releases May 27.
Courtesy image
The short film 'Matt' releases May 27.

When it comes to

inspirational football films, Rudy is

often the gold standard. Here in Santa Monica, the City’s namesake high school

has a “Rudy” of its own, and his name is Matthew Tapia. The 18-year-old-senior

is the subject of short documentary.


entitled Matt, the short film

releases on May 27 and tells Tapia’s story of beating the odds. Specifically,

Tapia was born three months premature and, at the time, given a 5 percent

chance to survive.

His weight at

the time of birth: 1.5 pounds.

Now at age 18,

Tapia is a senior at Samohi. On the film’s website, Tapia is described as

“gregarious” and “defiant,” a young man who relied upon “stubbornness” to not

only survive but put himself on track to attend college next year.”

Indeed, Tapia is

not going too far away from Santa Monica, as the graduating senior will be

enrolling at UCLA in the Fall 2014 quarter.

Matt is a huge

sports fan and dreams of being a play-by-play [announcer] one day,” the film’s

website described about Tapia. “Heading into his senior year, Matt took

advantage of an opportunity offered to him by a brave coach and some open

minded kids, and joined the football team.”

While on the

Samohi football team, Tapia reportedly attended every practice.

With Tapia on

the team, the Vikings football squad recorded a winning record, made the

playoffs, and advanced into the second round.

Along the way,

Tapia played in two games. However, his impact on the team was far greater, as

he was also described as the “indomitable spirit and positive attitude” that

inspired Samohi’s football team discover its identity.

Directed by Seth

Shapiro and produced by Diesel Films, Matt

will be available to view online.

For more

information about the film and how to view it, visit its website at or visit its Facebook

page at

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