Investigation Discovery and New York-based distributor FilmRise have secured the worldwide distribution rights to Deborah S. Esquenazi‘s feature-length documentary Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four (pictured).
The U.S. crime net has acquired the U.S. television rights to the film, which will premiere under its independent documentary banner ‘ID Films’ this October.
Meanwhile, FilmRise has taken ancillary worldwide rights to the film, which is to be released theatrically in New York beginning September 14 and Los Angeles on September 21, with other cities to follow.
The doc focuses on the case of four lesbian women from Texas who were wrongfully accused and convicted in 1997 and 1998 of sexually assaulting two young girls amid the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s to 1990s. The women, who were released from prison in 2013, are now working towards exoneration in tandem with the Innocence Project, with their case currently up for review with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. A hearing date has not yet been set.
The film held its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, before screening at Hot Docs, AFI Docs Film Festival and Frameline San Francisco, where it won the Jury Prize for Best Documentary.
Southwest of Salem is produced by Motto Pictures and Naked Edge Films with Sam Tabet as producer. Motto’s Julie Goldman and Christopher Clements serve as executive producers alongside Naked Edge’s Jim Butterworth and Daniel J. Chalfen.
Preferred Content and Submarine Entertainment represented the filmmakers for sales in all territories.