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ICYMI: John Arcilla Wins Coveted Volpi Cup for Best Actor At The 78th Venice Film Festival

Actors who won the award in the past include Brad Pitt, Colin Firth, and Sean Penn.

A big win for Philippine cinema happened at the recently concluded Venice Film Festival on September 11. Veteran actor John Arcilla won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the 78th installment of the festival for his great performance in Erik Matti’s “On The Job: The Missing Eight”. The film also received a five-minute standing ovation from guests including “Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho, who acted as the festival jury’s president this year.

With this win, Arcilla becomes the first-ever Filipino to win the coveted award from the world’s oldest film festival and one of the “Big Three” film festivals in the world. The actor joins the likes of Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Ben Affleck, and Colin Firth who all have their own Volpi Cups. (Read: Erik Matti Highlights Dangerous Reality of Media Workers In HBO’s On The Job Series)

Coincidentally, prior to the awarding ceremony, the 55-year-old actor posted to Instagram photos of some Venice Film Festival Best Actor winners of the past with the caption,” Here is the roster of some Great Actors who won the most coveted Volpi Cup at the Venice international Film Festival. I wish we can have one someday! Hahahaha if you dream as they say. Dream big! God bless everyone.” 

And as if he called it, the actor will now get to display his very own trophy, among many other accolades he has collected in his 36 years in the industry. But what other movies did the veteran actor get a Best Actor award for? Here are some of them!

John Arcilla Films: Heneral Luna

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Photo from IMDb

Probably his most iconic role to date, Arcilla played the title role in the 2015 historical film “Heneral Luna”, General Antonio Luna himself. Because of his stellar performance, the actor received numerous distinctions–six, to be exact. Arcilla received Best Actor awards from the Pangasinan Government URDUJA Film Festival, the 34th Film Academy of the Philippines Awards, and the 2016 Platinum Stallion Media Awards.

He was also given the Gantimpalang Dr. Jaime G. Ang Presidential Jury Award for Film and the Highest Merit on Film Performance from the 14th Gawad Tanglaw Awards, and Actor of the Year from the MEDIA WORKS Commexcel Student Choice Awards of San Juan De Letran for Heneral Luna. (Read: Why Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral is relevant movie today)

John Arcilla Films: Halaw

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Photo from Cinema ’76 Film Society Facebook and IMDb

In the 2010 Cinemalaya Film Festival entry, “Halaw” or Ways of the Sea, Arcilla stars alongside Maria Isabel Lopez and Arnalyn Ismael. The story is set in the southern part of the Philippines, near Malaysia. It revolves around–and tries to expose–the human trafficking issues in the southern provinces in the country. The production crew wrote the film based on researches and interviews from people who actually live in these provinces. Arcilla won the Best Actor (New Breed) Award for his performance in the movie.

John Arcilla Films: Mulanay

john-arcilla-best-actor-venice-film-festival
Photo from Pinoy Klasik Movies and tfajarda YouTube

The 1996 film Mulanay: Sa Pusod ng Paraiso gave the 55-year-old actor his first-ever Best Actor Award. He received it from the Metro Manila Film Festival. Mulanay stars Arcilla, Jaclyn Jose, Nonie Buencamino, and Gina Alajar. The story centers in on Ria Espinosa (Jaclyn Jose), a newly licensed doctor who volunteers for the “doctor to the barrios” program.

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