Cover John Arcilla in 'Heneral Luna' by TBA Studios

We list down some of the films where 2021 Volpi Award winner, John Arcilla, showcased his exemplary range in acting

The Philippines just had its first Volpi award winner at the 78th Venice Film Festival—On The Job: The Missing 8 star John Arcilla.

The 208-minute crime thriller is a sequel to On the Job (2013). Helmed by Erik Matti and written by Michiko Yamamoto, the film follows the story of journalist Sisoy Salas (Arcilla) who investigates the sudden disappearances of his colleagues and Roman Rubio (Denis Trillo), a fugitive brought of his jail cell to carry out executions. 

See Also: Review: How 'On The Job: The Missing 8' Exposes The Philippines' Long Battle Against Corruption

The previous winners of Venice Film Festival's principal award are Hollywood's biggest and most sought-after talents: Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, Adam Driver, Joaquin Phoenix, and more. This is why in his acceptance speech, Arcilla felt deeply gratified for being able to join the roster despite language barriers. 

“I know that we come from different countries, and we have different languages and cultures. And yet, I can feel oneness tonight. And I can feel that you understand me, and we understand each other because of the art of cinema. So, thank you so much,” he said.

Matti, Trillo, producers Dondon Monteverde and Quark Henares, and the rest of the On The Job: The Missing 8 team walked the red carpet under the hot Venezian sun on September 10. “I think over a year ago, we were all sitting on one table, discussing how we’re gonna show ‘On The Job’ and we don't know yet if it's ever gonna be shown because the cinemas were closed and we don't know how long is the pandemic gonna take, but it's not just gonna be shown in a cinema, it's gonna be shown in something as prestigious as Venice and that we're really really happy,” Matti expressed.

In celebration of Arcilla's historic win, Tatler lists some of the actor's highly-acclaimed movies besides On The Job: The Missing 8:

1. Heneral Luna

Set during the Philippine-American war (1899-1902), Heneral Luna circles around the tragic fate of the country's "most brilliant" soldier, General Antonio Luna (Arcilla). Directed by the multi-awarded composer and filmmaker Jerrold Tarog, the film also highlights Luna's deliberate attempt to prevent the American forces from invading Manila. 

Heneral Luna is considered to be one of the Philippines' highest-grossing films, earning  $4,625,639 (PHP231,120,052.64) worldwide, including $206,040 (PHP10,292,007.06) in the United States.

Related: Heneral Luna, Anino, On The Job, and More: Critically Acclaimed Filipino Films You Ought To Know

2. Suarez: The Healing Priest (2020)

In Joven Tan's biographical film Suarez: The Healing Priest (2020), Arcilla gave life to the infamous Filipino priest and faith healer Fr Fernando Suarez. The priest became a popular icon in the Philippines for his healing masses, attended by thousands who hope to be cured of their illnesses; he passed away in February 2014 when he collapsed after playing tennis

The movie is one of the official entries for the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

3. The Panti Sisters

Comedy-drama film The Panti Sisters is a 2019 Filipino comedy film directed by Jun Lana, starring Arcilla, Paolo Ballesteros, Martin del Rosario, and Christian Bables. The movie explores the family drama between a terminally ill father (Arcilla) and his three gay sons who need to "provide" a grandchild to inherit wealth.

More from Tatler: Pride And Equality: The Plight Of The Filipino LGBTQIA+

4. Birdshot

The film Birdshot follows the story of a farm girl who wanders into a forest reserve where she sees and kills a critically endangered and protected Haribon (Philippine Eagle). In an interview, its director Mikhael Red shared that the movie is based on true events. “It is based on a true event,” Red said. “I read a news article about a farmer who shot, killed and ate a Philippine Eagle. I was intrigued by the scenario—a man unaware of the crime he commits—his motivation is purely survival."

Birdshot was the opening film of the 2017 Cinemalaya.

5. Kuwaresma

Kuwaresma (lent) is probably one of the scariest Filipino movies of all time. Its dark story and eerie elements can be likened to Ari Aster's Hereditary. The plot revolves on heavy family drama that includes haunting scenes that will not make you sleep at night. 

The project also stars Sharon Cuneta as Rebecca Fajardo the wife of Arturo (Arcilla).

Related: 5 Thai Horror Films On Netflix That Will Absolutely Terrify You

6. Metro Manila

Directed by English writer and filmmaker Sean Ellis, Metro Manila is a riveting crime thriller that tells the story of a recent emigrant to Manila who gets pulled into a harrowing world of corruption and violence when he takes a job as an armoured car driver to support his family.

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