Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four (World Premiere, Tribeca Film Festival, 2016)

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Feature Documentary.

Debut: Tribeca Film Festival, 2016 and HOTDOCS

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. This bizarre case is the first to be adjudicated under momentous new legislation helmed by the Innocence Project of Texas: for the first time in U.S. history, wrongfully convicted innocents can challenge convictions based on debunked scientific evidence called ‘Junk Science’. Part personal narrative told from the point-of-view of the persecuted and part true crime, the film unravels the sinister interplay of mythology, homophobia, and prosecutorial fervor which led to this modern day witch hunt.




Dir: Deborah S. Esquenazi

Producer: Sam Tabet, Deborah S. Esquenazi

Editors: Leah Marino, Liz Perlman

Original Music: Sam Lipman

Executive Producers: Julie Goldman (Motto Pictures), Daniel Chalfen (Naked Edge Films), and Sam Tabet

Consulting Editor: Jean Tsien, Toby Shimin, Mary Manhardt, Victoria Chalk

Field Producers: Carrie Kenny, Elvia Mendoza, Elizabeth LaBarge, and Karen LaShelle


The film is generously supported by

Sundance Institute with support from Open Society Foundations and Ford Foundation JustFilms

Sundance Institute | Arcus Fund

Astraea Global Arts Fund

Chicken & Egg Pictures

The Kindle Project for the Common Counsel

Austin Film Society

IFP Spotlight on Docs

Firelight Media

Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation.