Vertical Entertainment Acquires North American Rights to John Leguizamo’s Feature Directorial Debut “Critical Thinking”

It’s the perfect endgame for John Leguizamo

Vertical Entertainment has acquired the North American rights to the 56-year-old Colombian actor/comedian’s feature directorial debut Critical Thinking, which he also stars in and produced.

John Leguizamo

Written by Dito MontielCritical Thinkingtells the 1998 true story of five LatinX and Black teenagers from Miami Jackson Senior High School, located in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Miami, who fight their way into the National Chess Championship under the guidance of their unconventional but inspirational teacher. 

The movie will hit VOD/digital on September 4.

“In today’s fractured society with so many disenfranchised young adults, in our country and around the world, this is a story which can and will inspire all of us to do better, keep focused and stay positive,” said Leguizamo. “With Critical Thinkingwe wanted to create a universal message of hope and spread this message to the world.”

“Given the challenges that many are facing right now, it gives the team at Vertical great pleasure to bring a story this inspiring to screens everywhere,” said Rich Goldberg, co-president of Vertical Entertainment. “It’s a story that celebrates young people who were brave enough to believe in themselves, and we hope audiences will walk away feeling the same.”

Rachel Bay Jones and Michael Kenneth Williams also star in the feature. 

The film was produced by Scott Rosenfelt and Jason Mandl, as well as executive produced by Harvey R. ChaplinCarla Berkowitz and Emilio Estefan Jr.

Gina Torres to Take Part in Benefit Concert for the National Immigration Law Center

Gina Torres is giving back to the immigrant community…

The 50-year-old Afro-Cuban American actress and Pearson star will participate in a concert being live-streamed Saturday to benefit low-income migrants.

Gina Torres

The show will also feature Marcia CrossGrant GustinCheyenne JacksonRachel Bay JonesMelissa ManchesterEric McCormackCaroline RheaLiz Callaway,Yuri SardarovDancing with the Stars pros Pasha Pashkov and Daniella KaragachMelissa Benoist and Chris Wood.

Performers include Jane LynchWayne Bradyand Laurie Metcalf.

The concert is set for 9:00 pm EDT at UCLA’s Royce Hall. It’ll be broadcast via Facebook Liveand at ConcertsforAmerica.com. Proceeds will benefit the National Immigration Law Center.

It’s the latest in a series of benefits created and hosted by Seth Rudetskyand James Wesley, the host and producer of Sirius XM’s “On Broadway” show.