Ricky Rosario '11, an up and coming filmmaker in Los Angeles, California released his most recent short film, "Abuela's Luck," in August 2018. The film is being received with rave reviews and has already been the 'Official Selection' of numerous film festivals; New York Latino Film Festival presented by HBO, Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, the Boston Latino International Film Festival, the NALIP Latino Media Fest and the Downtown LA Film Festival, just to name a few. "It didn't all come easy. I've been doing this for five years and I'm just hitting my stride now," Rosario shared as he explained his filmmaking journey.
After graduating from Seton Hall, with a degree in Finance and Marketing in 2011, he worked as an affiliate relations network analyst at NBCUniversal/ Telemundo in New York City. "My time at Telemundo opened my eyes up to the world of production and the various areas of working in entertainment," said Rosario. His curiosity to explore the production side of the entertainment business inspired him to move to Los Angeles in 2013. His time on the west coast has been, and still is, spent working on various music videos, commercials, short films and features. Through his work, he realized that there weren't a lot of stories set in a bodega (a small grocery store, especially in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood), or backdrops like it, that truly explored the narratives of Latino-American culture.
"Abuela's Luck" is a short film set in a Dominican-New York City bodega that is about the bilingual Latino experience and the presence of "luck" within the community. It was shot in three days in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The short highlights the "generational connection rather than generational gap," as Rosario puts it, in the Latino-American community. It pays homage to his relationship with his grandmother, who loves scratch-off lottery games.
To get the film produced, Rosario had to raise more than $8,300. He did so through two online fundraising campaigns and an in-person bodega-themed fundraiser in West New York, New Jersey. He attributes his education at the Stillman School of Business with being paramount to his success as a filmmaker. He said, "I am able to apply what I learned in my finance and marketing classes to tackle a plan and have clear objectives in every project I execute. It also helps me be patient."
A Union City, New Jersey native, Rosario attended Hudson Catholic Regional High School in Jersey City. He was looking for a familiar environment when he chose Seton Hall, "I enjoyed the small and personal community, and it was still close to home." As a college student, he was an active member of campus life, serving as the President of the Gamma Pi chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, a member of Adelante Latino/ a Student Organization and the Finance and Investment Club.
When asked what advice he would give someone trying to follow in his footsteps, he said, "I advise them to do the work and research around whatever endeavor they involve themselves in and cultivate genuine business relationships; Work hard without expectations and you will be rewarded unexpectedly." He emphasized that the network he built is responsible for the work he has been able to acquire in the production industry.
Ultimately, Rosario hopes to live a bicoastal life, traveling between Los Angeles and New York City, pursuing his passion of directing and producing. As "Abuela's Luck" continues to connect with audiences across the country, and open at many other film festivals, Rosario's future looks promising.
Rosario is one example of more than 100,000 Seton Hall alumni who exemplify What Great Minds Can Do at Seton Hall.