FESTIVALS: On The Job, White Building score acting prizes in Venice

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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: 

Main Competition: 

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

Orizzonti Competition:

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