Periodical Podcast Vol. 10 with special guest Rommel Villa

Asha Dahya speaks with “Sweet Potatoes” director Rommel Villa about how he worked with Miramontes’ children to tell his improbable story of invention and resistance. 

“If you had asked me many years ago, ‘Do you know who invented the birth control pill?’ I would have (guessed) anywhere in the world except for a Latino country … so it was amazing to learn that someone humble, this Mexican scientist, was the one who revolutionized the world we live in now.
— Rommel Villa

Rommel Villa is an Emmy and Student-Academy-Award-winning filmmaker born and raised in Bolivia. He grew up writing and directing award-winning plays based on social issues within the Latinx and Queer communities. Rommel has a degree in Systems Engineering and an MFA in Film/TV Production. Winner of Directing stipends from Lionsgate-Televisa, USC School of Cinematic Arts, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Rommel’s work ranges from magical-realistic LGBTQ+ stories like his film “Teddy Mate”, to movies based on real-life events like “Sweet Potatoes”, a historical film about the Mexican scientist who synthesized the birth control pill, which granted Rommel a Student Academy Award.

After being a grantee in the 2021 Tomorrow Filmmaker’s Today program, Rommel made the necessary connections to develop a series based on “Sweet Potatoes” called “Revolutionary Lives” while doing Post-Production for his next film “Piedra Dura/Hard Stone”, which tackles the abuse of queer teenagers in small towns in Bolivia. Passionate about controversial, dark, and out-of-this-world topics that affect minorities, Rommel is looking to produce his first feature film “The Mechanical Box”, a psychological thriller that he hopes will show the world the vision and talent of a Bolivian filmmaker whose dreams go beyond flying llamas.

IG/FB: @rommelvb — — Sweet Potatoes: FB/IG: @sweetpotatoesfilm

Be sure to follow @RommelVB on Instagram and Twitter, and see more of his work at his website

If you haven’t already, subscribe to our monthly newsletter where you will get each episode of the pod straight to your inbox. Learn more at or at @reprofilm The rePROFilm Podcast is executive produced by mamafilm. Looking forward to bringing you our next conversation!