John Arcilla (MNS photo)

MANILA, July 29 (Mabuhay) — John Arcilla could not contain his joy at the official announcement of the 78th Venice International Film Festival Monday that his film “On the Job: Missing 8” has been selected as a competing entry against 20 other international titles.

“Nakaka-proud talaga that we were recognized by a prestigious festival that is considered one of the four biggest global festivals,” Arcilla said.

“Nakakataba ng puso na pasok kami sa standards ng Venice! I am also happy for my director, Erik Matti, and producer, Dondon Monteverde.”

Arcilla recalled how they sacrificed for three years to finish the film. “Ang tagal naming pinaghirapang matapos kasi inabutan kami ng pandemic,” he said.

In the sequel to “On the Job,” Arcilla portrays Sisoy, a crusading radio journalist caught in the web of crime and political intrigue. He stars alongside Christopher de Leon, Dennis Trillo, Dante Rivero, Lotlot De Leon, Andrea Brillantes, Leo Martinez, Agot Isidro, Eric Fructuoso, Vandolph, Wendell Ramos, Megan Young, Isabelle De Leon, and Levi Ignacio.

It is based on true events about a journalist and a prisoner who are forced to question their loyalty to a local politician when eight people suddenly disappear without a trace.

In a previous  interview, Arcilla said it was a big challenge portraying a radio journalist and small-town media superstar who later uncovers the realities of the system.

“Sumasakit ang ulo ko in a positive sense ‘pag si Erik ang direktor ko,” he related. “All your senses are working — emotional to mental to physical again — kasi the material and the story itself provide many emotional and motivational requirements. Ang daming crisis na panggagalingan ng intentions and ang objective mo as an actor is to propel your character to move forward.”

Arcilla just laughed off suggestions that he may also be up for a best actor nomination at the Venice film fest. “Makapasok lang pelikula mo doon, big deal na!” he said.

The 78th edition of Venice International Film Festival will run from September 1 to 11.

The full lineup of the competing entries with their respective directors are:

“Madres Paralelas,” Pedro Almodovar

“Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon,” Ana Lily Amirpour

“Un Autre Monde,” Stephanie Brize

“The Power of the Dog,” Jane Campion

“America Latina,” Damiano D’Innocenzo and Fabio D’Innocenzo

“L’Evenement,” Audrey Diwan

“Official Competition,” Gaston Duprat and Mariana Cohn

“Il Buco,” Michelangelo Frammartino

“Sundown,” Michel Franco

“Illusions Perdues,” Xavier Giannoli

“The Lost Daughter,” Maggie Gyllenhaal

“Spencer,” Pablo Larrain

“Freaks Out,” Gabrielle Mainetti

“Qui Rido Io,” Mario Martone

“On the Job: Missing 8,” Erik Matti

“Leave No Traces,” Jan P. Matuszynski

“Captain Volkonogov Escaped,” Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov

“The Card Counter,” Paul Schrader

“The Hand of God,” Paolo Sorrentino

“Reflection,” Valentyn Vasyanovych “La Caja,” Lorenzo Vigas (MNS)

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