His late mother was UPR professor Rosa Zurinaga. He studied at the UPR Elementary School, University High School (UHS) and obtained his B.A. at UPR in 1972. He joined Puerto Rican filmmaker Roberto Gándara upon graduation, setting aside plans to study a Masters degree, founding the film company Zaga Films. Among the several movies that he has directed is La Gran Fiesta, a movie about the last grand party at the old "Casino de Puerto Rico" building in Old San Juan, before it was turned over to military use as the United States was drawn into World War Two, and A Step Away, a 1980 critically acclaimed movie narrated by Orson Welles. In 1997 came an unusual movie in Zurinaga's filmography, the thriller-mystery film The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca.