Deborah S. Esquenazi is a film director, screenwriter, and investigative journalist--she recently launched Myth of Monsters Studios in 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.
Myth of Monsters is at work on a fictional TV adaptation of Southwest of Salem with playwright and former Mad Men writer Jason Grote, with Naked Edge Films co-producing.
Myth of Monsters is also in-development on Queen of Wands, a multilingual coming-of-age LGBTQ drama. Set in 1989 during a fictionalized hurricane at the height of the AIDS crisis in Texas, Queen of Wands is a semi-autobiographical account of the writer-director’s own coming-of-age as a young lesbian in a Cuban-Sephardic household. The film plays with themes of gay phantasmagoria, family lore, and biblical allegory.
Esquenazi is also a Rockwood JustFilms Ford Fellow, Sundance Documentary Film Fellow, Sundance Creative Producing Fellow, and a Firelight Film Fellow.