At Home with John Leguizamo: A Conversation about Critical Thinking

John Leguizamo

Moderated by Rebecca Alva (STEINHARDT '96), join this conversation with actor/director John Leguizamo (Tisch Drama) and producers Scott Rosenfelt (Tisch Film & TV) and Carla Berkowitz about their latest film, Critical Thinking. Hear their stories from their days at NYU to releasing a film during a pandemic year.   

John Leguizamo plays a dedicated teacher who inspires a group of Latinx and Black teens to become chess champions. This true story centers around the Miami Jackson High School 1998 chess team which was the first inner-city team to win the U.S. National Chess Championship. Watch the trailer here.   

Watch the film at home in HD for $4.99. Available on Apple TV and other streaming services.

About the Speakers

A multi-faceted creator, John Leguizamo (Tisch Drama) has established a career that defies categorization.  With boundless energy and creativity, his work in film, theatre, television, and literature covers a variety of genres, continually threatening to create a few of its own.   

Scott Rosenfelt (Tisch Film & TV) is one of Hollywood’s most successful independent producers. On the strength of such films as Home Alone, Smoke Signals, Mystic Pizza, Teen Wolf, and Extremities, Scott has garnered international acclaim and recognition. Rosenfelt’s most recent film,  Critical Thinking, about the Miami Jackson High School chess team that won the US national chess championship in 1998, is in release and is directed by John Leguizamo, who also stars. Rosenfelt is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

Carla Berkowitz is the Executive Producer of the highly anticipated independent feature film Critical Thinking, directed by and starring the Emmy-award winning actor John Leguizamo. She and Harvey R. Chaplin have been partners for 30 years and spent over 20 years developing Critical Thinking from story to screenplay to film. Her company, NRSP, is producing Critical Thinking and developing other aspirational projects.

Rebecca Alva (STEINHARDT '96) received her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and has transformed her profession into a training business for health and wellness. She has been a volunteer leader for the NYU Alumni Club South Florida since 2015 and President since 2019.  Rebecca moved to Miami from NY in 2012 and lives in Brickell.

Accessibility Accommodations

Please note this virtual event requires an internet connection and computer, tablet, or smartphone. It is a priority to make our events inclusive and accessible and New York University is pleased to provide accommodations for people with disabilities. Requests for events and services, such as live closed captioning or ASL interpretation, should be submitted to at least 72 hours in advance. Many of our online events will be closed captioned and posted on the NYU Alumni website after the event.