The Philippines’ John Arcilla was awarded best actor at this year’s Venice Film Festival (September 1-11) for his role in On The Job: The Missing 8, while Cambodia’s Piseth Chhun took the same honour in the Horizons competition for White Building.
Directed by Erik Matti, On The Job: The Missing 8 is the sequel to his 2013 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight title On The Job. The three-and-a-half hour film is being re-edited into a six-part series for HBO Asia. Arcilla plays a radio talk show host who defends the corrupt local mayor, unaware he’s involved in the killing of a local journalist.
White Building is directed by Kavich Neang and filmed in the crumbling Phnom Penh apartment building he grew up in before it was demolished to make way for a new development. Produced by Neang and Davy Chou’s Anti-Archive, the film was co-produced by Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke and France’s Aspara Films.
It was a strong year at Venice for female filmmakers with Audrey Diwan’s abortion drama Happening taking the Golden Lion for best film, which was presented to her by Oscar-winning Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho. In addition Jane Campion took best director for The Power Of The Dog and Maggie Gyllenhaal won the best screenplay award for her debut feature The Lost Daughter. This year’s Cannes film festival also had a woman director taking the top prize with Julia Ducournau winning the Palme d’Or for Titane.
Other Venice winners included Paolo Sorrentino’s coming-of-age drama The Hand Of God, which took the grand jury prize and best young actor for Filippo Scotti, and Pedro Almodovar’s Parallel Mothers, which won best actress for Penelope Cruz’ performance (see full list of winners below).
Full List of Venice Film Festival 2021 winners:
Golden Lion: Happening, dir. Audrey Diwan
Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize: The Hand Of God, dir: Paolo Sorrentino
Silver Lion for Best Director: Jane Campion, The Power Of The Dog
Best Actress: Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Best Actor: John Arcilla, On The Job: Missing 8
Best Screenplay: The Lost Daughter, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Special Jury Prize: Il Buco, dir. Michelangelo Frammartino
Best Young Actor: Filippo Scotti, The Hand Of God
Best Film: Pilgrims, dir: Laurynas Bareisa
Best Director: Eric Gravel, À Plein Temps
Special Jury Prize: El Grand Movimiento, dir: Kiro Russo
Best Actress: Laure Calamy, À Plein Temps
Best Actor: Piseth Chhun, White Building
Best Screenplay: 107 Mothers, Péter Kerekes & Ivan Ostrochovský
Best Short Film: Los Huesos, dirs: Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña
Lion of the Future – Luigi De Laurentiis Award For A Debut Film: Imaculat, dirs: Monica Stan, George Chiper Lillemark