John Arcilla wins Venice Film Festival Best Actor award

MJ Felipe, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2021 08:38 AM

Courtesy of the official Twitter page of La Biennale di Venezia
Courtesy of the official Twitter page of La Biennale di Venezia

Kapamilya actor John Arcilla won the Best Actor award at the 78th Venice International Film Festival for his performance in the movie "On The Job: The Missing 8".

Erik Matti, director and producer of the movie, accepted Arcilla’s award and dedicated it to the ensemble cast of the movie that will also be shown as a six-part mini series on HBO Go. 

In a pre-recorded video, Arcilla thanked the award-giving body for giving him his very first Volpi cup.

"If there is something I really regret tonight, it is I won't be able to kiss my own Volpi cup there in the middle of Venice and on that red carpet just like all other 77 actors who I admire who have kissed their own prestigious award one actor could ever have," he said.

Arcilla acknowledged the festival audience for appreciating his craft.

"I know we came from different countries and we have different languages and culture, yet I can feel the oneness tonight, and I can feel that you understand me and we understand each other just because of the art of cinema. So thank you so much," he said.

"On The Job: The Missing 8" tackles another real-world predicament in today's media as journalists Sisoy Salas (Arcilla) and Arnel (Christopher de Leon) try to seek the truth of fake news and how easily "truth" can be manufactured and disseminated to the public in today's age of information.

Eight individuals, all linked to a newspaper, disappeared one day, and a hired killer on the loose, inmate Roman (Dennis Trillo), holds vital evidence to this dark incident.

Arcilla stars as a radio host forced to re-think his support for the Philippine government after a series of assassinations. 

He eventually transforms into a gun-toting revolutionary in a role described by The Hollywood Reporter "as pure fantasy". 

But it said Arcilla's performance was "possessed of a bracingly righteous anger at a debased form of governance that transcends borders". 

The film is a sequel to the 2013 film "On the Job" by Matti, which was a huge success in the Philippines, telling the story of prisoners used by the government as hitmen. 

Little known internationally, Arcilla has won multiple awards at home for his work on TV and film. 

He is perhaps best known for "Heneral Luna", a 2015 biopic about legendary 19th century military commander Antonio Luna. 

The Venice Film Festival wrapped up Saturday after 21 films from around the world competed for the top prize. 

Here are the winners. 

- Golden Lion: 'Happening' - 

The festival's award for best film went to French director Audrey Diwan's "Happening". The film follows a 23-year-old university student who desperately tries to get an abortion in 1960s France. 

- Grand Jury Prize: 'The Hand of God' -

The runner-up prize went to Paolo Sorrentino's autobiographical film set in the Naples of his youth, when football legend Diego Maradona delivered big hopes to the gritty southern city.

- Best Actress: Penelope Cruz -

Penelope Cruz won for her work in Pedro Almodovar's "Parallel Mothers", an uncharacteristically political film that sees the Spanish actress as a single mother who faces a mystery surrounding her baby's identity. 

- Best Actor: John Arcilla -

Arcilla won for his star turn in "On the Job: The Missing 8", playing a radio host forced to rethink his support for the government after a series of assassinations. 

- Best director: Jane Campion -

Jane Campion won the top directing prize for "The Power of the Dog", her first film in more than a decade, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. Set in Montana in the 1920s the drama follows two brothers who feud after one comes home with a new wife.

- Screenplay: Maggie Gyllenhaal -

Maggie Gyllenhaal's screenplay for her directorial debut, "The Lost Daughter" was based on a novel by Elena Ferrante. The film starred Olivia Colman as a woman obsessed with another mother and daughter. 

ams/bp

- with report from Agence France-Presse

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