Deborah S. Esquenazi // @deb_esquenazi

Documentary film + radio producer, instructor, video artist. Sundance Documentary Film Fellow 2014. Works primarily on issues & themes relating to crime, criminal justice, identity, LGBTQ, Latina/o and women's issues in the South and Southwest regions. Loves directing short documentaries and thinking through the politics of fringe.

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Feature Documetnary

‘San Antonio Four’ Feature Documentary Project

    Feature Documentary. Now in post-production. Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four excavates the nightmarish persecution of Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez (the ‘San Antonio Four’) — four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of allegedly gang raping two little girls amidst the ‘Satanic sexual abuse’ hysteria of the late-80’s and 90’s in the US.… Read more →

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ANNOUNCING: thinkEAST/Fusebox Festival + Teens + Questions about criminality

NOW IN R&D // Exhibition & Short Documentary. On their way to-and-from school, many of the 450 students of Eastside Memorial High walk alongside streets like Airport Boulevard, Highway 183, and Springdale Road, heavily traveled arteries running through East Austin. Some students, however, have created a more direct route for reaching school. Their daily circuit includes cutting through neighborhood yards;… Read more →

ANNOUNCING: Bruce Jackson Retrospective Photo Exhibition & Short Documentary (R&D)

Photography Exhibition & Short Documentary.   “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the united states, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”  —Thirteenth Amendment, Section 1, U.S. Constitution. (Ratified 1865)   IN ASSOCIATION with the La Peña gallery in downtown Austin, we are announcing a multi-media retrospective of… Read more →

Short Documentary

The Kellers

Dan Keller, a daycare operator falsely convicted of child molestation during the national “satanic ritual abuse” panic of a generation ago, is an old man now, recently freed after years in prison, and bearing somber witness to a panic few young Americans remember, but which they cannot afford to forget.  Visit film website.  ABOUT: Dan Keller and his wife, Fran,… Read more →

Short Documentary

The Farm :: Inside the Anchor Home for Boys (Watch it Now)

Produced for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE.org) with support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s, an independent Baptist preacher named Lester Roloff established a series of rehab homes dubbed “The Farm” for troubled youth and adults. The homes were continually accused of abuse, and in some cases, torture. This retrospective piece uses found footage to take a… Read more →

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Prison Entrepreneurship Program (In Development)

A great prison experiment goes right.  In Production, with support from KLRU-PBS.    A SHORT DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE GREATEST PRISON EXPERIMENT YET // In-Production The Prison Entrepreneurial Program, referred to as P.E.P, is an extraordinary high-level educational M.B.A. program offered to inmates in Texas. Among their core curriculum and offerings, inmates read Dostfyesvky’s Crime & Punishment, prepare business plans and… Read more →

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Stories From Deep in the Heart

Former Project Director from 2011-2013. Stories From Deep in the Heart sponsored by Texas Folklife works with underserved populations of teens to create radio documentaries about their lives. During Esquenazi’s tenure, she oversaw the production of over 85 radio documentary and digital stories; the radio pieces aired on public radio stations around the globe. The program is supported by the National… Read more →