Deborah Esquenazi

Director / Writer / Investigative Journalist

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Deborah S. Esquenazi is a film director, screenwriter, and investigative journalist.


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. Her latest short, El Vacio, was produced by Concordia Studios/New York Times. Her Austin-based company, Myth of Monsters, is launching an anthology podcast called A Feminist History of Crime, which will debut in 2020.


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