Emmy-nominated and Peabody-winning director and screenwriter Deborah S. Esquenazi is set to demystify stories and myths about women of color and LGBTQ individuals with her newly launched production company Myth of Monsters.
Under the new production banner, Esquenazi will team with former Mad Men writer Jason Grote to adapt her Peabody-winning, Emmy-nominated true crime documentary, Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four. Daniel Chalfen and Jim Butterworth of Naked Edge Films are co-producing. The 2016 documentary helped exonerate its four subjects from their wrongful convictions of the ritual rape of two little girls during the “Satanic Panic” era.
Also in development is Queen of Wands, a bilingual coming-of-age LGBTQ drama with Academy Award-nominated producer Cathleen Sutherland (Boyhood) and Susan Kirr (Tree of Life, I Love Dick). 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 director’s own coming-of-age as a young lesbian in a Cuban-Sephardic household. This will mark Esquenazi’s first feature-length screenplay, which she will also direct.
Myth of Monsters has plans to adapt the classic 1922 horror documentary, Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages, which appeared in Southwest of Salem.