Deb has created the documentary film Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four. In 1997 and 1998 four young, Latina lesbians from San Antonio, Texas were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to prison. All were alleged to have gang-raped two girls. An investigator speculated they were involved in “Satanic-related sexual abuse,” and their sexuality was used against them during the trial. They have been released from prison. This project documents their story.
Deborah S. Esquenazi is a Texas-based documentary film and radio producer, instructor, and video artist committed to using media to reveal social inequities, rally support for important causes, and create probing, powerful documentary work.
Southwest of Salem has received international attention for its investigation into this controversial criminal case, and been mentioned in Forbes Magazine, New York Times, Texas Observer, among others. This film was supported by the Sundance Institute for Documentary Film Program, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Initiative, Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, and Chicken & Egg Pictures.
Deb is also curating a retrospective exhibition on the multi-media of Bruce Jackson, the renowned folklorist, photographer and filmmaker who photographed the bygone era of slave plantation turned prison farm circa 1960’s. She is also collaborating with the renowned Fusebox Festival ThinkEAST project, supported by Artplace America, on an experimental series of teen-led short films that explore issues of Latino identity, criminality, and cultural equity.