THE BUZZ: Rolling the dice on “Yesterday’s Ticket”

June 20, 2012 Denise Romano
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Bensonhurst native Joseph Somma aims to paint a picture of his relationship with his father while shining a light on a serious neighborhood problem in his film, “Yesterday’s Ticket.”

“There are a lot of films being shot around the city but nobody really focuses on the things that go on in the neighborhood,” Somma said, adding that there are a script and a cast for the film and the trailer has already been shot, but he is still trying to raise funds to shoot the film in Bensonhurst in September.

Somma’s parents divorced when he was a child and he spent weekends with his dad – who had a gambling addiction. “My dad would pick me up once a week. We were supposed to be going to my aunt’s, but instead he would take me to the racetrack,” he recalled.

After struggling with a gambling problem himself for many years – he blew thousands of dollars on a horse race when he was only 12 – Somma decided to research why he had the addiction. “I found out it was a deep connection to my relationship with my father,” he said.

Somma decided to make this film to raise awareness of the sometimes taboo issue. “People don’t realize that compulsive gambling is a real problem and it destroys relationships and families. I want the public to see that a regular guy in the neighborhood was affected by the disease mainly because his father was,” he explained.

Somma, who currently lives in the West Village, attended St. Finbar’s and Xaverian High School. He said Bensonhurst was the only place to shoot the film. “I want to shoot in stores, pizzerias and by the bridge,” Somma said, adding that he is also trying to get permits to shoot in his old building on Bay 22nd Street and in St. Finbar’s where he was an altar boy. “The story doesn’t work unless it’s shot in Brooklyn.”

He also hopes that viewers will learn something from the film. “I want the public to see that gambling is a difficult and life-threatening disease. I want the public to know that we can overcome addiction, but we really have to search and dig deep and work at it,” Somma explained. “I would like them to see that if parents are struggling with compulsive diseases, they don’t expose kids to it at a young age, because it opens up doors for inheritance of the problem.”

For more information about Somma and “Yesterday’s Ticket,” visit

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