MANILA — John Arcilla, who won the coveted Volpi Cup for Best Actor for his lead role in “On the Job: The Missing 8,” said Friday he is overjoyed over the film’s selection as the Philippines’ entry for Best International Feature at the 95th Academy Awards or Oscars.
“It’s overwhelming! Sobrang saya ko talaga… Sabi nga nila, ‘When it rains it pours,’” he told ABSCBN News, while also citing the need to push “On the Job” in the Oscars race.
“Sana mas lumakas pa loob natin at dumami ang financial support para tulungan tayong makapasok talaga sa Oscars. Sana lang madami pa tayong makuhang resources and influencers sa international media para mapaingay ang pelikula,” he said, while also citing the need to push “On the Job” in the Oscars and to build connections with the voting members of the Academy.
“Kung ‘di maingay ang pelikula at mababa ang curiosity ng voting members all over the US, walang boboto — and this means the voters from 51 states. Ganu’n ka importante na mai-publish tayo at ma-promote sa mga mainstream magazines or platforms,” he explained.
The Oscars bid of the Erik Matti film was announced Friday by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and the Directors Guild of the Philippines, Inc. (DGPI) at closing rites of the Philippines Film Month at Miranilla Gallery in Mariposa, Quezon City.
As incentive, the FDCP will grant P1 million to the creative team of “On the Job” to help its efforts to convince Academy voters to give it a slot in the final list of nominees, chairperson Tirso Cruz III told ABS-CBN News.
Film producer Dondon Monteverde said he and Matti, his business partner, are grateful for the film agency’s support.
Veteran director Joey Reyes and DGPI head Paolo Villaluna, both members of the selection committee, also disclosed to ABS-CBN News that aside from “On the Job,” two other films were considered: “When the Waves are Gone” by Lav Diaz and “Leonor Will Never Die” by Martika Escobar.
All are of equal footing but ultimately Reyes and Villaluna said they had to choose an entry that has the best chances in making it at the Oscars in terms of international exposure, support and resources.
The Oscars push for “The Missing 8” follows another international recognition for Matti’s “On the Job” film series. Just the night prior, the 2022 mini-series edit of the original 2013 film was nominated for Best TV Movie/Mini-Series at the 50th International Emmy Awards.