Deborah S. Esquenazi // @deb_esquenazi

Documentary film + radio producer, instructor, video artist, journalist. Sundance Documentary Film Fellow 2014. Works primarily on issues & themes relating to crime, criminal justice, LGBTQ, Latina and women's issues in the South and Southwest regions. Loves directing short documentaries. October obsessions: To Kill a Mockingbird, RuPaul's Drag Race, the Science of Swarms, and Kodak Portra 400.

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Short Documentary

Stratagem #27 (In Post-Production)

Short Documentary. An iconic, eccentric West Texas lawyer uses 16th century warrior philosophy to drive an unheard-of legal victory in small-town Texas in this simmering short documentary that examines the racially-charged criminal case against Tim Cole.  In Post-Production. Read more →

Feature Documetnary

San Antonio Four Feature Documentary Project (In Production)

An in-progress feature documentary about the high-profile, bizarre trials of the San Antonio Four, four Latina lesbians indicted during the ‘Satanic sexual abuse’ panic for the alleged gang rape of two little girls. Now in-production.    ABOUT THE FILM The Innocence Project of Texas (IPOT) trailblazes an historic piece of legislation that allows wrongfully convicted innocents to challenge––for the first… 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.  Acquired by KLRU-Austin, PBS Affiliate, for national… Read more →

Short Documentary

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

Produced for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange ( 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 →


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 →