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Local Film-Man Finds Fulfillment

SOMERS, N.Y. -- Although Rosario J. Roveto, Jr. , studied Sales and Marketing at Hofstra, his first love was film. After a few years as a business forms specialist, Roveto decided to “follow his bliss,” so he applied to New York University for the intensive film-making course. It was a highly selective program geared for people already working in the industry. Roveto was flatly rejected.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday thereafter he spent the mornings sitting in the head office at NYU’s Film Division. Finally, an assistant demanded, “What do you want, Rosario?”

“If you take me,” he said, “I’ll make you proud."

But the assistant told him the course was full and that "nobody ever drops out.” Just to be kind, Roveto said, she moved his application to the top of the thick pile.

?According to Roveto, that was ?a? Friday. On Monday?, his phone rang. “Are you sitting down, Rosario?” she said. “Someone just dropped out.”

To cover his tuition, Roveto said? ?he? sold his car, his computer and anything else of value??????????????????????????????. His first job afterwards was as a production assistant on a mini-series called "??????????The Kennedys of Massachusetts.”??????"?

Eventually he made it to Hollywood and became a member in the Directors Guild. His directorial name has been associated with numerous TV shows, including “TV You Control: Bar Karma,” “Ugly Betty,” “The Naked Brothers Band” and, currently, the Disney series “Shake It Up!”

His most successful film to date, “A Wake in Providence,” is a comedy based on cross-cultural relationships. It premiered at the Boston Film Festival and went on to win an award at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival.

So far in his career, he has worked with Tim Robbins, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Swayze, Andy Garcia, Burt Reynolds, and on and on. The nicest actor he has worked with? “Brooke Shields.”

Roveto said the best thing about his job is “watching people laugh and enjoy themselves. It’s so rewarding to see people laugh because of something you’ve created.”

His advice to hopefuls? “Don’t ever be discouraged. You need perseverance and tenacity. If you have them, you’ll get your shot. For every thousand people who get off the bus in LA, there’s one who sticks it out. The entertainment world is a wonderful club. There’s room in it for everyone who wants to make it. You get paid nothing in the beginning.”

Roveto said he’s always willing to meet and help striving young artists. Danielle Ricci and Elisa Bonniello, both of Somers, were able to garner TV roles with his help. “I try to give back as much as I can,” he said.

The most disappointing thing about his profession? “Not everyone is going to like what you do.”

His favorite film? It is a natural: “Cinema Paradiso.”

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