Rivera, who is from Flushing, was formerly an undocumented immigrant for 19 years and as a child was constantly told to keep quiet about many things in her life. However, she decided to speak up and share her experiences through the documentary “No Le Digas A Nadie,” translated to “Don’t Tell Anyone.”
The film’s first Queens screening is scheduled for Sept. 2 at CUNY Law School located at 2 Court Square in Long Island City from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is free.
“I think each time it’s very awkward for me and I get very nervous,” Rivera said. “It’s always nice to see the different crowd, and how they receive it. Everyone takes something different away from the film.”
“No Le Digas A Nadie” — which is filmmaker Mikaela Shwer’s debut as an independent director and titled after Rivera’s poem “Rusty Chain” — follows Rivera through her everyday life and focuses on the relationship she holds with her mother, who immigrated to the U.S. with her.
The documentary also shadows Rivera through her experiences as an undocumented immigrant and activist, as she applies for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) and obtains a visa.
In 2010, the Colombian native started the first national undocumented online youth advice column called “Ask Angy.”
Along with the issue of being an undocumented immigrant, the film also surrounds Rivera’s opening up about being a victim of sexual assault.
“Scenes that come up still impact me and sometimes I catch myself crying during the screenings,” Rivera said.
Even though every time the film is shown she says she feels nervous, Rivera hopes that by sharing her story others, who might find themselves in the same situation will begin to speak out.
She also added that even though some people might not have experienced what she did, she also hopes the film will start conversations on the subject.
“Some people will come up to me and share experiences as well and that’s something that always impacts me,” Rivera said. “I think in immigrant communities we struggle a lot on talking about sexual assault and it needs to happen because it’s happening in our communities and if we’re not talking about it, people don’t have a space to feel supported and feel safe.”
The film is also set to have its national television premiere on the PBS series “POV” on Sept. 21.