Échale Ganas: The Villa’s Tacos Story Image

Independent filmmaking and the culinary world have a lot in common. So you do what you have to do to get your art out into the world. Shirley Yumeng He’s Échale Ganas: The Villa’s Tacos Story follows the rise of pop-up taco chef and community leader Victor Villa and how he overcame the challenges faced by the COVID lockdown in Los Angeles.

The documentary short opens with Chef Villa staring nervously into his Instagram, knowing that hundreds of taco orders are going to flood his feed in ten minutes. Of course, he’s going to fulfill every single order. His drive and ingenuity that led him to perfect the fulfillment process is the same drive and ingenuity that led him to find a way to grow his business when COVID-19 shut down the entire city.

“…follows the rise of pop-up taco chef and community leader Victor Villa…”

Échale Ganas: The Villa’s Tacos Story intertwines footage of Villa Taco’s day-to-day operation, Villa’s personal story of success and early life growing up in the Highland Park district of L.A., and his social media campaign to win L.A.’s best taco competition, known as the L.A. TACO – Taco Madness 2021 Tournament.

I also forget to mention Villa’s incredible taco. The doc goes into great detail about the creation of the “Estilo-L.A.” This L.A.-inspired taco is made completely from scratch, including the tortilla shell. It involves his entire family’s involvement, including his grandmother, who makes the salsa with love. Then there’s the all-important advertising done solely through his Instagram account.

Échale Ganas: The Villa’s Tacos Story is a true rags-to-riches story of Villa’s entrepreneurial spirit and how, during lockdown, he was able to adapt and turn his home into a commercial kitchen. His financial success not only meant he could provide for his immediate and extended family but also his hometown of Highland Park.

Échale Ganas: The Villa's Tacos Story (2021)

Directed and Written: Shirley Yumeng He

Starring: Victor Villa, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Échale Ganas: The Villa's Tacos Story Image

"…a true rags-to-riches story..."

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