Emmy-nominated and Peabody-winning director and screenwriter Deborah S. Esquenazi has launched her own production company, Myth of Monsters, to tell stories about women of color and LGBTQ people.
Esquenazi — who created the documentary “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four” — will team with former “Mad Men” writer Jason Grote to adapt her Peabody-winning, Emmy-nominated documentary for television, according to a statement on her website.
The 2016 documentary helped exonerate four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of gang raping two young girls in San Antonio, Texas. The four women served more than a decade in prison before the case unraveled, and they were found innocent. Esquenazi’s documentary was key in getting the women exonerated.
Myth of Monsters mission is “to use storytelling to complicate & upend pernicious myths about women, POC, and queer folks,” according to its website.
The influences and themes include crime myth, identity politics, sexuality and gender violence, and monster theories, according to the website.
One of the first projects on deck for Myth of Monsters is the bilingual coming-of-age, LGBTQ drama “Queen of Wands.” The semi-autobiographical film will be set in 1989 and will focus on growing up lesbian in a Cuban-Sephardic household.
The film will be Esquenazi’s first feature-length screenplay, and she’ll also direct.
“As a filmmaker, I am committed to using media to reveal societal inequities, rally support for important causes, and create probing, powerful cinema,” Esquenazi has said. Her other credits include the 2009 feature documentary “Isaiah’s Children” and the 2014 doc short “The Kellers.”
This story first appeared on Cafe con Leche Nerds.