Peruvian Born filmmaker Turned Cancer Survivor Becomes a New American Citizen After two Decades of Being Undocumented

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Mabel Valdiviezo, filmmaker and artist, just recovered from Stage 4 cancer and a new citizen this Tuesday, is determined to finish her latest film, Prodigal Daughter, a documentary about her 16 years of being undocumented and without seeing her Peruvian family.

I want to tell other immigrants out there that there is hope and that they can succeed in life, no matter what obstacles you may encounter.

Independent filmmaker Mabel Valdiviezo is turning to the Internet to raise funds for her latest film, Prodigal Daughter, an uplifting documentary on immigration and family reunification. Valdiviezo was undocumented in the U.S. for 16 years, recently became a Stage 4 cancer survivor, and on November 27 will become an American citizen in a ceremony at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California.

“I want to tell other immigrants out there that there is hope and that they can succeed in life, no matter what obstacles you may encounter,” she affirms. After many years of being under the radar, a tenacious Valdiviezo never let her dreams die. Once she obtained her green card, she landed video producing jobs in Silicon Valley, and now is thrilled to become an outstanding American citizen. Valdiviezo’s goal is to bring Prodigal Daughter to community centers, high schools and colleges to open up dialogue about family reunification among immigrant communities in the U.S. and Latin America.

Valdiviezo has started an online campaign and needs to raise $10,000 which will enable her to shoot for two weeks in Peru.

With the funds raised in time for her mid December shoot, Valdiviezo and her parents will visit their Andean ancestor's land in the North of Peru during the festivities in honor of the Virgen of La Puerta, a religious patron saint of Otuzco known for her healing miracles. Valdiviezo, a recent cancer survivor herself, is incorporating this dramatic twist in her life into the film, which is expanding this story of immigration into one of inner healing and personal transformation.

Valdiviezo is working around the clock to meet the December 10 deadline. She has chosen crowd-funding platform Indiegogo and has partnered with her fiscal sponsor From The Heart Productions.

To learn more about the film, readers can go to

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Mabel Valdiviezo
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