"It's something I've been wanting to do for 20 years," Esparza told Monday's El Paso (Texas) Times.
Actor/director Edward James Olmos and HBO films are also a part of the production team on the movie based on the true story of the 1968 East Los Angeles Chicano student uprising.
Esparza was one of the leaders as 10,000 high school students walked out of classes that day to protest discrimination in education. He was arrested and jailed for conspiracy to disrupt schools, but later acquitted, the newspaper said.
"The movie captures a vital turning point in American history," Esparza said. "Chicanos were able to take a major step in changing their lives by changing the educational system which had limited them."
The film is scheduled to premiere on HBO March 18.