Deborah S. Esquenazi, Director

Deborah S. Esquenazi is an Austin-based documentary filmmaker + radio producer, instructor, and journalist. Her work explores the intersections of mythology & justice, identity & power. She is a: Sundance Creative Producing Lab Fellow, 2015. Firelight Media Producers' Lab Fellow, 2015. IFP Spotlight on Docs, 2015. Artist on two Artplace America commissions, 2015. Sundance Documentary Film Fellow, 2014. She has received funding from Humanities Texas, Sundance Institute | John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Astraea Global Arts Fund, Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, and many others. Her debut feature, Southwest of Salem, received international attention for its initial investigation into the high-profile ‘San Antonio Four’ case and has been written about in Forbes Magazine, The NY Times, The Texas Observer, The Marshall Project, and many other publications. To learn more about her work,


Sam Tabet, Producer

Sam Tabet is a creative producer committed to stories that expose structural oppression and ignite change. Prior to producing Southwest Of Salem, they spent four years as the Program Associate at Chicken & Egg Pictures, an organization which supports women non-fiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change. During this time Sam was also the assistant producer for award winning feature documentary Call Me Kuchu and produced SIGNIFIED, a multi-media archive of LGBTQ testimony and documentary series featuring the work of queer artists and activists. Sam previously worked and volunteered at NewFest and American Documentary, POV, and holds a B.A. from Connecticut College in Film and Gender studies. Sam is the co-founder of the Queer Producers Collective. 


Liz Perlman, Editor


Liz Perlman is an Austin-based filmmaker, editor and producer. Her most recent credits include editor + producer on the documentary Formerly Known As, which premiered at the 2015 Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Liz previously worked as an associate producer and co-editor on the award-winning documentary feature Above All Else (SXSW '14). She also worked as an assistant editor on the narrative feature comedy 7 Chinese Brothers (SXSW '15).


Leah Marino, Editor


Leah Marino makes her home in Austin, TX where she has been editing documentary films for 20 years. She recently worked on Robert Byington’s 7 Chinese Brothers, starring Jason Schwartzman, her first venture into fiction film editing that premiered at SXSW 2015. Marino edited, Above All Else, about one man’s struggle against the Keystone XL pipeline, which premiered at SXSW 2014 and won Best North American documentary at Global Visions Festival in Alberta, Canada.  Previously she completed Ramona Diaz’s Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, her third collaboration with Diaz, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and won the Independent Lens Audience Award.  Previous editing projects with Diaz have been shown in festivals and won awards around the world, including The Learning, a story of Filipino teachers recruited to work in inner city Baltimore and Imelda, about the notorious dictator’s wife (premiered Sundance, 2004). Marino also completed Bradley Beesley’s The Creek Runs Red, which aired on Independent Lens in 2007.  Her work includes projects about racecar drivers, super fund sites, revolutions and civil rights movements.  She enjoys helping each film to realize it’s unique story and purpose in the larger world.  She received a filmmaking degree from Boston University in 1992. 


Toby Shimin, Finishing Editor


Toby began her film career as a sound editor, and switched to picture editing in 1988 when she cut The Children's Storefront, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Since then, she has cut numerous films that have premiered at Sundance, including Martha and EthelA Leap of Faith, Miss America, Out of the Past, which won the Audience Award, Everything's Cool, Buck, which also won the Audience Award, and most recently, How to Dance in Ohio which recently premiered on HBO. Indian Point, for which she was supervising editor, premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and will soon have its theatrical release. She has edited several diverse projects for PBS, including AIDS Warriors, Seabiscuit, for which she received an Emmy nomination and Emmy-nominated Reporting America at WarThree of Hearts: A Post-Modern Family, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and A Sea Change has won several festival awards, including the NOAA Environmental Hero award. Toby is a principal of Dovetail Films. She has taught workshops and master classes at Hampshire College, Michigan State University and the School of Visual Arts. She currently lives in New York’s Hudson Valley where she is co-curator of the film series, Depot Docs.


Jim Butterworth, Naked Edge Films, Executive Producer


Jim is the founder and president of Naked Edge Films, where he has served as executive producer for films including The Mind Of Mark DeFriest, Silenced, In Country, The Revisionaries, Gone, Donor Unknown, War Don Don, The Disappearance Of McKinley Nolan andCape Spin. Jim’s own film Seoul Train, which he produced, directed and shot, has been translated to more than twenty languages and broadcast on TV globally. In 2007, Seoul Train was bestowed the Alfred I. DuPont – Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism and investigative reporting, and also was runner-up for the National Journalism Award. Jim also is a successful technology entrepreneur and investor, and an advisor to a number of nonprofits, startup companies and investment funds.


Daniel J. Chalfen, Naked Edge Films, Executive Producer


Daniel J. Chalfen is a documentary film and television producer and the co-founder of Naked Edge Films. His most recent films include Chris Bell’s Prescription Thugs, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films; The Mind of Mark DeFriest, which played at Hot Docs and LAFF 2014 and was released theatrically in the US in March 2015 before airing on Showtime; Silenced, a co-production with ZDF/ARTE, which premiered at Tribeca 2014 and aired on DirecTV (US), CBC (Canada), NHK (Japan), and Netflix Worldwide; and In Country, which premiered at Full Frame Film Festival in 2014 and was released theatrically and on VOD by Bond360 in April 2015.  Earlier credits include the Tribeca Film Festival and Columbia-DuPont award-winning The Revisionaries (a Kino Lorber release) and the Tribeca Film Festival award-winning Donor Unknown for PBS' Independent Lens; State 194 for Participant Media; Gone for Discovery ID; the Emmy-nominated War Don Don and Oscar short-listed 39 Pounds of Love for HBO; the multiple awards-winning Budrusand Meeting Resistance for Al Jazeera; and Town Hall and Code of the West for PBS’ America Reframed. Other credits include the Danny Glover Executive Produced The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan, the Sarah Jessica Parker Executive Produced Pretty Old, and the Livestrong Executive Produced Farewell to Hollywood. Chalfen is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and a Founding Member of the DCTV Cinema Advisory Council.


Julie Goldman, Motto Pictures, Executive Producer

Julie Goldman founded Motto Pictures in 2009. She is an Emmy Award-­winning producer and executive producer of documentary feature films. Julie is producer of Life, Animated and executive producer of Weiner, both of which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Life, Animated won the US Documentary Directing Award and will be released by The Orchard.  Weiner won the US Documentary Grand Jury Prize and was acquired by IFC Films and Showtime.  She is executive producer of 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets and Best of Enemies both of which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and were shortlisted for the 2016 Academy Award Best of Enemies was released by Magnolia Pictures to critical acclaim and 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets won a Special Jury Prize, was released by Participant Media and acquired by HBO for US broadcast. Julie produced Indian Point, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and executive produced The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, both to be theatrically released this spring.  She also executive produced The Kill Team and Art and Craft, both released by Oscilloscope and shortlisted for the 2015 Academy Award and 1971, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015. Julie produced three films that premiered in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival: Gideon’s Army, Manhunt and the Oscar shortlisted God Loves Uganda. She produced The Great Invisible, which won the SXSW Grand Jury Prize and was released by RADiUS TWC; We Are The Giant, which premiered at Sundance; A Place at the Table, which was released by Magnolia Pictures, and executive produced the Oscar shortlisted Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner Beware of Mr. Baker. Julie produced Buck, winner of the Sundance Documentary Audience Award, shortlisted for an Academy Award and one of 2011’s top five grossing documentaries. She consulted on the Academy Award-­winning The Cove and produced the Oscar shortlisted Sergio. Some of Julie’s earlier films include: Easy Riders Raging Bulls, Cat Dancers, In The Shadow Of The Moon, Better The World, What Remains, Once In A Lifetime and Sketches Of Frank Gehry.


Christopher Clements, Motto Pictures, Executive Producer

Christopher Clements is a partner at Motto Pictures.  Christopher is executive producer of Weiner and co-producer of Life, Animated, both of which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.  Life, Animated won the US Documentary Directing Award and will be released by The Orchard.  Weiner won the US Documentary Grand Jury Prize and was acquired by IFC Films and Showtime. He was the creative consultant for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival hit Best of Enemies, which was released by Magnolia Pictures and shortlisted for the 2016 Academy Award, and co-produced Ivy Meeropol’s documentary Indian Point, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and will soon be released by First Run Features. Christopher is co-executive producer of The Yes Men Are Revolting directed by Laura Nix and The Yes Men, which premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and was released by The Orchard in 2015, and Alison Klayman’s film The 100 Years Show, which debuted at Hot Docs. He executive produced Art and Craft, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and was shortlisted for the 2015 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Christopher is currently co-producing The Punch directed by Andre Hörmann as well as executive producing the CNN Films feature Enlighten Me, directed by Jenny Carchman and Fellove, a documentary directed by Matt Dillon.  Christopher’s camera work was featured in Cindy Meehl’s Buck, which won the 2011 Sundance Film Festival’s Audience award.  He was production/ editorial consultant for Gideon’s Army, directed by Dawn Porter, which won the US Documentary Editing Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and 1971, directed by Johanna Hamilton, which had its world premiere at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and screened on PBS Independent Lens.  Christopher is a writer/director of award-winning animated short subject, documentary and narrative films.