Carla Berkowitz on Her Twenty-Year Journey to Bring Critical Thinking to Screen [Exclusive Interview]

Carla Berkowitz
Carla Berkowitz is the executive producer of Critical Thinking, which stars John Leguizamo

Carla Berkowitz never thought it would take twenty years to bring a film to the screen.

With Critical Thinking, the road to make the film was long and arduous. In the end, it was all well worth it.

Here’s the synopsis:

It’s 1998 in Miami. Rampant poverty, broken families, and a prejudiced system push underprivileged youth to the fringes of society. But for a magnetic group of teens, there’s a reprieve. A game where it’s not about where you come from, but how you play. That equalizer is chess. Mr. “T” Martinez, a chess militant and passionate coach, leads them to a completely foreign field of battle: the National Chess Championship. With an underfunded school district, Martinez and his team can’t just waltz into the arena. They have to fight for it. Chess runs parallel to their own experiences as Martinez teaches them that the power of Critical Thinking can save not only their kings, but also their lives.

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The film stars John Leguizamo, Rachel Bay Jones, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Angel Bismark Curiel, Will Hochman, Corwin C. Tuggles, Jeffry Batista, Ramses Jimenez, and Zora Casebere.

It marks the directorial debut for Leguizamo from a script written by Dito Montiel.

LRM Online exclusively spoke with executive producer Carla Berkowitz on the origination of the movie and her personal story of bringing it to the screen. Berkowitz explained how she was inspired by seeing the story n print and tracked down all the members of the chess team to acquire the rights of their personal stories. In recent years, the efforts came to fruition with John Leguizamo attached to direct and star in the film.

Critical Thinking releases as virtual cinema, VOD, and digital download on Friday, September 4.

Watch the exclusive interview below and let us know what you think.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Vertical Entertainment

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Gig Patta

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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