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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex resident’s short film H.O.P.E earns four awards

Photo by Alana Travis: Matthew Luppino, an Essex resident, is pictured with some of his awards.

by Sylene Argent Last September, Essex resident and filmmaker, Matthew Luppino, launched his short film “H.O.P.E.-Hold. On. Pain. Ends” to help lift the stigma around mental health. The film was premiered to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day.   Since its launch, the nine-minute and 13 second PSA has gained some recognition. “H.O.P.E.” won the Global Shorts Award of Excellence, the One-Reeler Award for Best Screenplay Short Film Compilation, the One-Reeler Award of Excellence for Short Film Compilation, and the Vegas Movie Award for Best Inspirational Film in the Honorable Mention category in 2019.   Including the four awards Luppino earned for “H.O.P.E.,” he has won 21 international filmmaking awards for various projects.   Luppino said he was most proud of having won the Vegas Movie Award for Best Inspirational Film because he set out to make this film to inspire others. “It was really cool to receive it. It’s kind of full-circle,” he said.   As a survivor of suicide and long-time battler of depression, Luppino wanted to tell this story. It was just a matter of when. Around three-years ago, he was hospitalized twice for suicidal attempts and depression. He was diagnosed as Manic and Bipolar and required medication and therapy for years.   With “H.O.P.E.,” he wanted to show the mental breaking point when an individual has had enough and does not know who to turn to.   “Just because you don’t see a tomorrow, there are things and people around you worth living for. Mental health is not who you are, it is a piece of who you are,” he said in a previous interview.   “H.O.P.E.” was featured at Bruceyfest, Cainerfest, was premiered with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) on September 10 to a sold-out audience, was showcased with the Essex Rotary Club, and featured at Dakkota Integrated Systems and highlighted in their plant-wide vision presentation. The short film was also a part of the CMHA Suicide Awareness Walk.   A highlight for Luppino was being interviewed by Dr. Craig Beach from California, where he discussed “H.O.P.E.” and mental health.   With the current COVID-19 pandemic creating stressors for some, the local filmmaker hopes his short film will help those having issues. He said there is hope for those who may find themselves suffering currently.   More information about the short film can be found at   Since realising “H.O.P.E.,” Luppino has been busy working on other projects, including working as the music video director for Christian Vegh, who is currently signed to Mi5 Recordings Detroit, Universal Music Group.   Luppino has also shot music videos for other local artists, and to accompany his own musical renderings. On March 16, his 25th birthday, Luppino released his fourth studio rap album, which is called, “Closure.” The album has 15 tracks.   The album took two-and-a-half years to finish. Luppino said he wrote some of the songs while still battling depression and working on his mental health. Many aspects in his life did not have closure, which inspired the album.   The album covers the ups and downs and experiencing pain in general over the past five-years. With a wedding date to his fiancé, Laura Holman, set for September, Luppino wrote the album to wrap up the last five-years of his life so he can begin a new chapter moving forward.   He released five music videos from this album. All songs and music videos can be found on his website, on his YouTube channel, or the Facebook page for Luppo Studios Productions Inc.   Currently, Luppino is writing and recording music, working on preproduction for films in the future, and networking and rebuilding his social media platforms    With being so busy, Luppino said he is nice to realize his dream. “This is a huge turning point,” he said of his career. “I have been doing this for ten-years. A lot of it, I was doing for free. I have been putting in a lot of time and effort and not getting [much] back financially. I started to doubt myself, wondering what do I have to do to get recognized more. All of a sudden, I’m doing what I want to do and making a living off of my passion.”

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