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John Leguizamo Makes His Directorial Debut in 'Critical Thinking' at the Virtual KCET Cinema Series on September 1st

Q&A immediately following with director/actor/co-executive producer John Leguizamo.

Mario Martinez (John Leguizamo) is a teacher at Miami Jackson Senior High School in 1998, who uses chess to help students in his "Critical Thinking" class learn how to focus mentally on their goals in life. Determined to excel in the game, the school’s chess club, comprised of Black and Latino students, becomes the first inner city team to win the U.S. National Chess Championship. The film marks the directorial debut of actor John Leguizamo.

Leguizamo shared, “When I received 'Critical Thinking,' I immediately saw its potential. The story was such a powerful tool to undo the harm that’s been done to America’s Latin and Black populations, by systemic and institutional racism, by the stereotyping done in Hollywood films, and by fake scientists who spread misinformation. I wanted to do everything I could to reverse the programming that my friends and family had been force-fed our entire lives, and bringing this film to life was how I was going to do it. We set out to create a film that fills people with hope in our dark times. We wanted to tell an inspiring true story that proves you can be born in the most under-privileged situation, but you can still be an intellectual hero.”

Immediately following the screening, Deadline’s chief film critic Pete Hammond, who can also be seen on KCET’s Must See Movies, will moderate a Q&A director/actor/co-executive producer John Leguizamo.

The film screens on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. PDT. Only $10 per viewing link. Limited space available.

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