Veteran screen actor John Arcilla has joined the ranks of Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, Adam Driver, and Joaquin Phoenix as Volpi Cup winners at the Venice International Film Festival.
Arcilla, who plays the character of Sisoy Salas in HBO Asia’s On The Job: The Missing 8, has won Best Actor at the prestigious event, becoming the first Filipino to win the coveted award.
In a video clip sent to Manila Standard Entertainment by Arcilla’s management Star Magic, the 55-year-old thespian expressed his elation winning the acting plum.
“This Volpi Cup is such a symbol of a milestone in my work as an actor. Just like my cup of life which is so full of blessings outpouring from the heavens and I wish I can share this with all my loved ones who left us in this lifetime,” he started.
“This most prestigious award I received today lift up my spirit to the heavens and I am transforming this Joy, achievement or victory or honor into love so that the loved ones I am missing can feel my heart which is outpouring with gratitude to all who love me and inspire me to get to where I am today and I’m thanking God for putting them into my life,” he carried on.
Part of the video clip was shown at the Venice Film Festival awards night where On The Job director Erik Matti accepted the recognition on his behalf.
“We come from different countries with different languages and cultures, and yet I can feel oneness tonight…that you understand me and we understand each other – all because of the arts and cinema. Thank you so much,” he ended.
Highlighting strong Filipino pride
On The Job: The Missing 8, premiered at 2021 Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 10. Matti’s latest opus centers on the crime syndicates that temporarily release prison inmates to carry out assassinations for the benefit of powerful clients.
The sequel of the 2013 critically-acclaimed film is the only Philippine entry to compete alongside 20 of some of the world cinema’s heavyweights.
Arcilla as Sisoy is a crusading and idealistic small town radio journalist caught in the web of crime and political intrigue. For the seasoned actor who has headlined the equally-successful film Heneral Luna and Halaw and who is no stranger to international film festivals, there remains more to be proud of in the series’ maiden feat.
“Yes, as an actor it is such a pride to be part of a project that will represent our country to the world’s oldest and most prestigious international film festival,” Arcilla said, who sadly wasn’t able to physically attend the festival due to prior commitments and tapings.
In the Star Magic hosted press junket for the series, Arcilla recalled how he was equal parts in awe and awakened by the project and its stark message.
“I think it is one of the bravest, most powerful and best Filipino films produced and mounted this year. That this film is not an advocacy project, I hope it opens the eyes of a lot of world citizens about the realities most societies are collectively experiencing from” he said.
Stressing that the series speaks volumes of the plight of countries, not just the Philippines, John pointed out, “World citizens should talk and do something about it. There are a lot of Sisoys in this world, only with different names.”
Following On The Job: The Missing 8’s world premiere, the Filipino-created series was released on HBO Go on Sunday with the first three episodes available to stream and download. New episodes will be premiering every subsequent Saturday.
On The Job also stars Andrea Brillantes, Joel Torre, Gerald Anderson, Joey Marquez, Piolo Pascual, Dennis Trillo, and Christopher de Leon.
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