Deborah Esquenazi

Deborah S. Esquenazi is a film director, screenwriter, and investigative journalist--she launched Myth of Monsters Studios in the summer of 2018, a mission-driven film and television production company to upend deep-seated myths about women, POC, and gay-identified individuals.

Esquenazi's first feature, the critically acclaimed documentary Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four, won the Critic’s Choice Award for 'Best First Feature', garnered an Emmy nomination for 'Outstanding Social Issues Documentary', a Peabody Award, and won a GLAAD Media Award for 'Outstanding Documentary', among other distinctions. The film helped exonerate the ‘San Antonio Four’ and is mentioned in the opening passages of the Writs of Habeas Corpus in Ex Parte Anna Vasquez, Cassandra Rivera, Elizabeth Ramirez, and Kristie Mayhugh.

Esquenazi’s first narrative feature, Queen of Wands, a gay phantasmagoric coming-of-age, which she wrote and will direct was selected for the 2019 Sundance Screenwriting Lab Intensive fellowship. Her latest short film, El Vacio, is produced by Concordia Studios/New York Times. Her company, Myth of Monsters, is producing an anthology podcast set to debut in 2020.

Esquenazi has also been a Rockwood JustFilms Ford Fellow, Sundance Documentary Film Fellow, Sundance Creative Producing Fellow, and a Firelight Film Fellow. She lives in Austin, Tx, with her wife and their two sons.


Southwest of Salem

Program Affiliation

Documentary Lab

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Documentary Lab

Other Filmakers