[COLUMN] John Arcilla wins best actor award in Venice Film Festival

Actor John Arcilla became the first Filipino to win the Volpi Cup for best actor at the 2021 Venice Film Festival. Photo from Instagram/@johnarcilla

VERSATILE actor John Arcilla was named Volpi Cup Best Actor at the 2021 Venice Film Festival for essaying the role of a journalist in the film “On the Job: The Missing 8.” He became the first Filipino to win the acting award in the festival.

Arcilla, however, was unable to attend the festival’s awards night. Director Erik Matti accepted the award on his behalf.

The actor uploaded a video thanking the Venice Film Festival for the awards and his thoughts on the achievement, accompanied by a post entitled “What a Cup full of LIFE.”

In the speech, the actor said he regretted not being able to attend in person to see his picture receiving and kissing his Volpi Cup as the 77 actors who won the award previously were able to do.

“If there’s one thing that made me the happiest actor today, tonight, is because I know for the fact that we came from different countries, from different continents, and with different cultures, colors, creed or languages, but yet I can feel the oneness, this tremendous oneness and understanding. I feel that we can understand each other despite our differences and it’s because of the arts… the art of cinema, of lights, colors, music, languages, words and sets,” he said.

“And this is such a very, very wonderful feeling of oneness and understanding that is too precious not to share so I want to share this to all the people that we love back home, and all the people that you love back home in your own countries,” he added, as he referred to the situations presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the virus of hate happening in the world.

Arcilla thanked the film’s director Matti and producer Don Monteverde, and dedicated his award to his family members who passed away during the pandemic (father Dominador, brother Emmanuel, sister Maria Teresa), and to an older brother who had passed away years before when he was young.

“I just want the world to hear their names because they played significant roles in my journey as an actor, as I create characters, as I create and tell stories, they are my biggest inspirations and influences, and my biggest fans. I love you, guys,” he said, even as he also thanked the many individuals who have supported his growth in the industry.

Arcilla also shot down stories claiming that he was not allowed to leave the lock-in taping of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsiyano” as the reason for not attending the festival and awards night, according to PEP.ph.

It was the 14-day quarantine that concerned him going back. Arcilla, who is fully vaccinated, had discussed it with Vicki Belo, who had told him that it was one of her worst experiences.

The actor’s physician had also warned him about the situation, especially with the emerging coronavirus variants. His doctor also told him that he could always give honor to the country another time, and that one’s health is more important.

“I took it as another sign,” Arcilla said.

In a related story, co-star Dennis Trillo could have also been named best actor in the same festival, along with Arcilla, according to a story in the Philippine Star.

However, according to jury member Chloe Zhao, they were not allowed to do so even if the jury loved Trillo’s performance in the same movie where he essayed the role of a prisoner who moonlights as a gun-for-hire.

According to the article, Globe Studios head Quark Henares said that Zhao had even googled Trillo as she thought he was a real prisoner, only to find out that the actor is a “matinee idol of some sort” in the Philippines.

For his part, Trillo sent his congratulations to Arcilla in a post, applauding the actor’s win and saying in part, “Congrats kuya @johnarcilla ikaw talaga ang pinaka magaling kahit noon pa! Volpi Cup is long overdue for you [clap emoji] all the best IDOL!”

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Recent VMA winner Olivia Rodrigo gave off punk rocker vibes in a Saint Laurent creation by Anthony Vaccarello at the Met Gala in New York. Photo from Instagram/@oliviarodrigo

And talking about awards…

Filipino Americans Bruno Mars and Oliva Rodrigo bagged their own awards at the recently-held MTV Video Music Awards (VMA), according to the Philippine Star.

Rodrigo was named Best New Artist, while her song “Driver’s License” won for Song of the Year and Push Performance of the Year.

“I feel so grateful that I get to write music and make stuff that I love and call it my job,” Rodrigo was quoted as saying in the article after winning Best New Artist on Sunday, September 12.

Bruno Mars took home “Best R&B” and “Best Editing” for the track “Leave the Door Open,” alongside Anderson .Paak and Silk Sonic.

Fil-Am rapper Saweetie’s “Best Friend” music video, featuring Doja Cat, won Best Art Direction by Alec Contestabile.

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Meanwhile, Rodrigo was also seen in the Met Gala a day later, on Monday, September 13. The 18-year-old singer arrived in an off-the-shoulder black lace bodysuit with feather trim at the neckline by Saint Laurent.

Rodrigo gave off vibes of a punk rocker, which was exactly the look she was going for.

The singer complemented her body-hugging outfit with dazzling chunky drop earrings, bracelets and peep-toe platforms with ankle straps. The “Good 4 U” singer shared a couple of photos on her Instagram page.

Fil-Am rapper Saweetie honored her heritage at the Met Gala by donning a gown with panels that featured colors of her Black American and Filipino heritage. | Photo from Instagram/@saweetie

Another Fil-Am who attended the Met Gala in New York is Saweetie, who, according to an article in Inquirer.net, honored her roots by wearing a sultry gown by Christian Cowan that featured a two-part train. One panel honored her Black American heritage featuring the black and red colors, while the other panel represented the Filipino flag colors of red, blue, white and yellow.

In an interview at the gala’s red carpet, Saweetie was quoted as saying, “I have two flags draped delicately on my body. ‘Cause I’m Black and Filipino, and that’s what makes me an American girl.”

The singer also shared photos of her experience at the Met Gala, putting a comment of “Proud of my heritage! [heart emoji].”

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