Mabel Valdiviezo: Prodigal Daughter - A Documentary and Reconciliation Story Print E-mail


Prodigal Daughter - A Documentary and Reconciliation Story

by Mabel Valdiviezo

This project will only be funded if at least $30,000 is pledged by Sat, August 22 2015
Progress to Date: 15 backers /$1,305 pledged of $30,000 goal /29 days to go

A Peruvian-American woman conquers immigration hardship, trauma, and family isolation in this epic story of healing and reconciliation.

About this project

This feature length film follows my journey from feeling lost and helpless to reconciling with my family, embracing my Latina identity, and finding healing in my heart. An artful and emotional story, Prodigal Daughter brings a new perspective to the immigration debate: the mental health challenges shaping immigrant communities today. Our film humanizes these millions of women and men who come to live in the U.S by bringing to light their personal experiences, adversities, and dreams. After an incredibly successfully work-in-progress screening at UC Berkeley's 10th Summer Institute on Migration and Health this June - we have been invited to bring our film to several community centers across the US. And for that. We need your backer support to fund post-production for the film, so we can get to the finish line and share our final cut with you!

With gratitude,

Mabel and the PRODIGAL DAUGHTER Team

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, visit us at HERE. Your participation in getting the word out is just as valuable as your individual pledges.

Family photos are transformed into vibrant paintings to illustr Family photos are transformed into vibrant paintings to illustrate the emotional and physical separation between Mabel and her family.


Prodigal Daughter tells the story of a filmmakers reconciliation with her Peruvian family after sixteen years as an undocumented immigrant in California. Fleeing war-torn Peru in the 1990s as a young woman, Mabel Valdiviezo endures traumatizing experiences, depression, and cultural isolation while her family suffers the consequences of her mysterious disappearance. Years later, about to become a U.S. citizen, Mabel seeks to reunite with her parents while battling a life threatening illness. Would Mabels growing spirit of forgiveness, a new acceptance of responsibility, and courage to face the secrets from her past let her recover love and bring healing to herself and her family? Prodigal Daughter evokes universally resonant emotions as it explores the relationship between a daughter and her parents when geography, culture and mismatched expectations set them apart.

Photo self-portraits track Mabel’s transformation from pu Photo self-portraits track Mabels transformation from punk-rebel youth to voiceless immigrant to empowered Latina.


In a time where the immigration debate has deeply divided our nation, our film will bring people together and spark dialogue about immigration, mental health and well-being across diverse communities in the U.S. Using her own life story to change the narrative, Valdiviezo allows us an all access pass through her 16-year journey from undocumented Peruvian, to the eventual transformation of an empowered U.S. citizen, successful Latina artist and Silicon Valley woman in tech.

The film explores art therapy and art journaling as healing mechanisms with the goal of inspiring immigrants, and anyone who has broken the ties with their families, in finding their own path to health and empowerment. The documentary interactive website will feature a Digital Quilt and an Art Journaling section highlighting short video clips and artwork with people of diverse backgrounds sharing their inspirational stories. We plan to screen Prodigal Daughter in homes, public schools, universities, community centers, and PBS stations throughout the nation.
Just like Mabel did, people can use art therapy and art journal Just like Mabel did, people can use art therapy and art journaling as a way of healing from trauma.

Mabel  recovers love as a fully realized U.S. citizen, Latina, Mabel recovers love as a fully realized U.S. citizen, Latina, and human being. She is ready to share her story with the world. Photo credits: Claudia Alva


 *Ulysses syndrome: A series of physical and emotional symptoms experienced by migrants facing chronic and multiple stressors.

These ladies and community advocates were quite moved by watchi These ladies and community advocates were quite moved by watching a preview of our film at UC Berkeley's Summer Institute on Migration and Health in June 2015. Photo credits: Michelle Villa

WHY RAISING $30,000?

With 90% of principal photography already completed, the $30,000 I raise through this campaign will give me the resources to 1) Shoot the final scenes of the film and have the freedom to create artistic metaphors and re-enactments  - about 1 week); 2) Employ a seasoned editor to go from assembly edit to rough cut and beginning of fine cut - about 3 months; 3) Preliminary music from amazing Peruvian musician Riber Or?4) Preliminary graphics

Your contribution is tax-deductible (minus the value of the reward you choose)

OUR MINIMUM GOAL IS $30,000. Every single dollar that comes in from this point will increase the value and the quality of this film and help us tell our story with more clarity.

Stretch Goal #1 - $45,000: This goal covers full original music score, additional music licensing from gifted musicians, and various archival footage sources needed for the film

Stretch Goal #2 - $60,000: This goal supports completion of editing,  graphics animation, and final color correction.

To show our appreciation, youll receive a Thank You Reward and our deep gratitude for your contribution.


Kickstarter is All-or-Nothing,
so even if were $1 short we dont get any of the pledges.

Kickstarter uses credit cards to securely process pledges. Your card will be charged at the END of the campaign and only IF we make our goal.

Your contribution is tax-deductible (minus the value of the reward you choose). We will send individual tax-deductible letters for everyone who has pledged at least $100 or more. Our fiscal sponsor is Interfaze Educational Productions, Inc.


Mabel Valdiviezo Director and Producer 
Mabel is an award-winning filmmaker and alumni of the Sundance Producers Conference who creates visually compelling films on socially relevant contemporary issues. She is a winner of the Women in Film Emerging Filmmaker Award and her film, Soledad Is Gone Forever, screened at the Cannes Film Festivals Short Film Corner and at LALIFF. She produced Carlos Baron, Poeta Pan, a documentary short for the KQED arts show, Spark. Her script, Soledads Awakening, was a finalist at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. With her documentary project Prodigal Daughter, she participated in the NALIP Latino Media Market 2012 and in the NALIP Latino Producers Academy 2013. Mabel is a recipient of the 2013 NALIP Artist Mentorship Grant.

Manuel Tsingaris Video Editor                                                        
Manuel is an accomplished documentary editor of award winning films that have aired on PBS and found acclaim on the film festival circuit. His editing credits include: Alive Inside, by Michael Rossato-Bennett; Purgatorio, by Rodrigo Reyes; The Rugby Player, by Scott Gracheff; The Storm That Swept Mexico, by Ray Telles; A Dream in Doubt, by Tamy Yeager; China Blue, by Micha X. Peled; and Writ Writer, by Susanne Mason. Tsingaris edited multiple segments for the PBS program Life360 and has recently edited a segment for the highly acclaimed PBS series Latino Americans.

Jessica Sison KS Trailer Editor
Tupac Saavedra /Aleixo Goncalves Cinematography
Riber Or? Music
Marilyn Mulford Consulting Producer
Jennifer Lauren - Partnership & Outreach
Tracey Hum Marketing Consultant
Michelle Villa Post-production Intern 

Risks and challenges

Our biggest challenge is to raise enough funds to finish this film. Thats why all of you are so important! We are highly confident that no matter what obstacles we face, we will complete the film because we have an amazingly experienced team, passionate collaborators, awesome friends, and an engaged community of supporters. Furthermore, we are already in deep conversations with potential community partners discussing how our film will make a difference. That's our biggest prize and our reason to share this vision with each one of you.

We look forward to adding YOU to our list of supporters!
Many thanks to our crew, partners, friends, and followers.\