EXCLUSIVE: Texas Month-to-month, the journal that has been chronicling life within the Lone Star State since 1973, has continued its enlargement into movie and TV by setting its first-ever function documentary, to be made in partnership with Peabody and Critics’ Selection Award-winning filmmaker Deborah Esquenazi (Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio 4).
The presently untitled movie facilities on James Reyos, a homosexual Apache man who for 40 years has sought to clear his identify of the brutal homicide of a Catholic priest in oil-rich West Texas. Embedding with the Innocence Mission of Texas that has taken up Reyos’ case, Esquenazi along with her doc sheds new gentle on a narrative that has eluded detectives, crime researchers and beginner sleuths for 4 many years, exposing an online of media lore and homophobia, in addition to whispers of a doable serial killing crew concentrating on clergy within the Nineteen Eighties. The mission extends protection of the case on the a part of Texas Month-to-month, which has had award-winning govt editor Michael Corridor take a look at it in print.
A Myths of Monsters and Bare Edge Movies manufacturing, the documentary is being produced by Daniel J. Chalfen, Adrienne Collatos and James Costa. Texas Month-to-month’s Scott Brown and Megan Creydt are set to affix Ken Nolan and Jim Butterworth as exec producers.
“Deborah’s nuanced and deeply journalistic approach to filmmaking is an excellent fit for Texas Monthly as we dive deeper into the world of documentary storytelling, and the rich layers of the James Reyos story made this project a very appealing one to collaborate on with this team,” stated Texas Month-to-month‘s govt producer for TV, movie, and podcasts, Creydt. “Our magazine has a long history of deep reporting on issues of wrongful conviction, and we look forward to seeing this project shine a new light on a story that will matter not just to the people involved but to those who care deeply about the criminal justice system and its effects on underserved communities.”
Added Esquenazi, “There is no better collaborator than Texas Monthly for a film like this. The Odessa Police Department—which reopened this case on its own—uncovered new forensic evidence in 2022, and it has been thrilling to film the collaboration between Odessa’s police department, the District Attorney’s office, and the Innocence Project of Texas clinic at Texas Tech University to do what might have once been unthinkable: reinvestigate a cold case, together, that might finally exonerate an innocent man who has been fighting for his life since the early 1980s. We’re thrilled to work with Texas Monthly in bringing this story to the screen.”
Starting solely lately to ascertain a presence in movie, TV and podcasts, Texas Month-to-month is presently below a first-look deal for scripted TV with HBO and Max, having most not too long ago exec produced the Max restricted sequence Love & Dying, based mostly by itself storytelling, which stars Elizabeth Olsen as Sweet Montgomery. The magazine additionally exec produced Max’s true crime docuseries How you can Create a Intercourse Scandal and has dozens of different tasks for each movie and TV in growth. Amongst them are Taylor Sheridan’s upcoming Billy Bob Thornton-led sequence Land Man, based mostly on the Texas Month-to-month podcast Boomtown, and the Richard Linklaker movie Hitman, anticipated later this yr.
An Austin-based filmmaker and investigative journalist, Esquenazi is the founding father of Fantasy & Monsters Studios, a movie and tv manufacturing firm aiming to upend deep-seated myths about girls, BIPOC and gay-identified people. The 2x Emmy nominee is finest recognized for her debut function, Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio 4, a critically acclaimed documentary that affected real-world change by serving to to exonerate its topics, the “San Antonio Four,” of a gang rape in San Antonio, Texas. The movie additionally nabbed a Critics’ Selection Award for Greatest First Characteristic, in addition to a Peabody, a GLAAD Media Award, an Emmy nom and different honors.
Esquenazi was additionally behind the documentary brief El Vacío, produced by Concordia Studio and the New York Occasions, which nabbed an Emmy nom as a part of the latter’s sequence From Right here to Dwelling. The previous senior producer of Tales from Deep within the Coronary heart, a teen radio program that companions Texas Folklife with the Austin-based KUT-NPR, she additionally beforehand served as a Area Director on PBS’ documentary particular And She May Be Subsequent, from EP Ava DuVernay.
Esquenazi is repped by MoJo World Arts; Texas Month-to-month by CAA.