John Arcilla wins best actor at 78th Venice Film Festival

Published September 12, 2021, 6:46 AM

by Robert Requintina

Erik Matti accepts the best actor award on behalf of John Arcilla (La Biennale di Venezia (Twitter)

Filipino actor John Arcilla, who plays the role of a reporter in the critically-acclaimed film “On the Job: The Missing 8,” was proclaimed the best actor at the Venice Film Festival in Italy last Saturday night.

Erik Matti, director of the film, received the award at the ceremony on behalf of the actor.

Arcilla thanked the jury in his acceptance speech through video. The award-winning actor plays Sisoy Salas, a corrupt reporter for a local newspaper.

“If there’s one thing I will regret tonight, I won’t be able to kiss my Volvi Cup in Venice. I’m the happiest actor tonight because I know we came from different countries, we have different cultures, but I can feel oneness tonight. I can feel that you understand me, and we understand each other because of the arts and cinema. Thank you so much.,” said Arcilla.

Celebrated Korean Director Bong Joon-ho, who won Oscar trophies for “Parasite,” is this year’s president jury.


Other members of the jury as reported by The Hollywood Reporter were Oscar best picture winner Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), French actress Virginie Efira (recently seen in Paul Verhoeven’s taboo-breaking Cannes-bowing Benedetta), Italian director Saverio Costanzo (Hungry Hearts), Canadian actress and producer Sarah Gadon (Enemy), Romanian documentary maker Alexander Nanau (Oscar nominated this year for Collective) and British actress and singer-songwriter Cynthia Erivo (WidowsHarriet).

“On The Job: The Missing 8” is the only film from Asia out of the 21 international films in Competition at this year’s Venezia 78. Inspired by true events, select episodes from the series were played in Competition at the prestigious 78th Venice Film Festival as “On The Job: The Missing 8.”

The new HBO Asia Original series continuing the saga of Erik Matti’s 2013 film carrying the same name. The engrossing six-part hour-long crime thriller series premiered globally and exclusively on HBO GO in September.

The full list of winners (as reported by The Hollywood Reporter):

Golden Lion for Best Film

Happening, dir. Audrey Diwan

Grand Jury Prize

The Hand of God, dir. Paolo Sorrentino

Best Director

Jane Campion, for The Power of the Dog

Best Actor

John Arcilla for On The Job: The Missing 8

Best Actress

Penelope Cruz for Parallel Mothers

Best Screenplay

Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Lost Daughter

Best Young Actor

Filippo Scotti for The Hand of God

Special Jury Prize

Il Buco, dir. Michelangelo Frammartino

Lion of the Future for Best Debut Film

Imaculat, dirs. Monica Stan, George Chiper-Lillemark

Horizons Sidebar

Best Film

Pilgrims, dir. Laurynas Bareisa

Best Director

Eric Gravel for Full Time

Special Jury Prize

The Great Movement dir. Kiro Russo

Best Actor

Piseth Chhun for White Building

Best Actress

Laure Calamy for Full Time

Best Screenplay

Peter Kerekes, Ivan Ostrochovsky for 107 Mothers

Best Short Film

Los huesos, dirs. Cristobal Leon, Joaquin Cocina

Horizons Extra

Audience Award Armani beauty

The Blind Man Who Didn’t Want to See Titanic, dir. Teemu Nikki

Venice VR Expanded

Best VR Story

End of Night, dir. David Adler

Best VR Experience

Le bal de Paris, dir. Blanca Lee.

Best VR Work

Goliath Playing with Reality, dirs. Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla

The series centres around crime syndicates that temporarily release contracted prison inmates to carry out political assassinations for those in power, except that the crime syndicates are run by politicians.

It also puts a spotlight on the real-world predicament concerning fake news and how easily truth can be manufactured and disseminated to the public in today’s age of information.

Conceived and directed by Erik Matti, the series in English and Filipino is filmed in the Philippines and stars Joel Torre, Piolo Pascual, Dennis Trillo, Gerald Anderson, Joey Marquez, Dante Rivero, Christopher de Leon, and Lotlot de Leon.

While the first two episodes of the series were shown as a film as part of the Director’s Fortnight at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival where it received a standing ovation, the episodes on HBO GO are remastered and include never-before-seen and exclusive content.

Produced by Reality MM Studios and Globe Studios, On The Job is written by Michiko Yamamoto and Erik Matti and executive produced by Ronald “Dondon” Monteverde, Erik Matti, Joe Caliro and Quark Henares.