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Is the Taco Bell Film Festival real?

Many have used Taco Bell as a source of artistic inspiration

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A Taco Bell logo at a restaurant in Miami.

This Friday, April 19, 2019, photo shows a Taco Bell logo at a restaurant in Miami.

Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press

A mysterious Taco Bell account started getting noticed: @tbfilmfest, with the bio reading, “Taco Bell Film Festival 2022 presented by Delta Airlines — Live Más.”

The account only has about 100 followers and listed a GMail account for collecting submissions, according to The Take Out.

But that’s not all. Most of the tweets on the account seem bizarre.

Here is one: “Discount Alert, For a limited time, Taco Bell Film Festival Premium Badges are available for $2300, which includes, VIP Access to Exclusive Zoom Calls With Industry Pros, Unlimited Streaming of most TBFF 2021 [sic] films, 50% OFF YOUR NEXT $2 BURRITO,” with no link to any more information.

Is this a fake account?

Did someone use the brand to create a fake account with extreme tweets? Does Taco Bell even have a film festival? Reporter Brianna Wellen tackled these questions and went down the rabbit hole.

Alas, the Taco Bell website does have a blog called “Living Más through film,” matching up with the Twitter bio but the content on the website reads much different: Serious, inspiring and the complete opposite of a gag. It highlights three filmmakers who are receiving the Live Más Scholarship but nothing about a film festival.

Looking into it myself, I did a double-take. Is the festival a spoof and it’s actually all about their scholarship? Or is this a blatant way to go viral and make people buy food from the fast-food chain?

Snooping through their social media accounts only left me with more questions, like this Instagram post titled: “Educate yourself on what is a Taco Bell Film?” The photo consisted of a taco with arrows that pointed to statements like:

  • “You already know the answer, just look deeper.
  • “Not unlike the warm touch of a cheesy gordita crunch wrap supreme.”
  • “Contains Shredded Tomatoes.”

The only helpful instruction was, “Each film embodies the spirit and promise of Taco Bell, or its presenting sponsors Delta Airline.”

Twitter wasn’t any better either: “Do You Think You Have What It Takes To Make A Taco Bell Film?” Another tweet reads, “Do You Know What It Means To Make A Taco Bell Film?”

This isn’t the first time

The company is known to influence “unauthorized art,” per The TakeOut.

For example, 2019, Taco Bell Quarterly entered the stuffy literary world, writing mostly about the company, per Salon. Their latest issue includes works of fiction like “Taco Belles,” “Still Open, After All These Years” and “Crazy, Stupid, Tacos.”

  • Their website reads: “Taco Bell Quarterly is the literary magazine for the Taco Bell Arts and Letters.”
  • The website also reads: “Is this real? A joke? A literary psy-op? We don’t fully know. We just decided to write about Taco Bell. We are absolutely not affiliated with Taco Bell and make no profits. We can’t even get extra sauce in the drive-thru.”

We know that the magazine is not affiliated with the brand but the same can’t be said for the peculiar film festival. Makes me wonder, does Taco Bell know what’s going on?

Email tacobellquarterly@gmail.com to submit to the magazine.

Email tacobellfilmfestival@gmail.com to submit to the film festival, which will stream on Twitch.com/tacobellfilmfestival Feb. 25-27.