Decorated Filipino performer John Arcilla has unlocked another milestone as an actor after receiving the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the 78th Venice Film Festival on Sunday (PH Time). 

The 55-year-old was granted the prestigious award as recognition for his outstanding performance in Erik Matti’s political crime thriller “On the Job 2: The Missing 8” (OTJ2), which makes him the first Filipino and Southeast Asian talent to be given the coveted cup. 

Matti’s film, where Arcilla played an unscrupulous journalist looking for redemption, was the country’s lone representative in the film festival. 

With this win, Arcilla joins the likes of Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, and Sean Penn, who’ve previously received the award. 

“If there’s one thing that I regret, it’s that I will not be able to have my photo taken while kissing my own Volpi Cup on that red carpet in Venice just like the other 77 great actors whom I all admire and who have already kissed their own. This is the most wonderful and prestigious award that an actor can have,” Arcilla said in his acceptance speech delivered online. 

“I’m the happiest actor tonight also because I know we come from different countries and we have different languages and cultures, yet I can feel the oneness tonight … because of the art of cinema,” he added.

Arcilla is currently in Ilocos Sur shooting for his local television series “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.”

For this year’s award, Arcilla bested Benedict Cumberbatch, Antonio Banderas, Oscar Isaac, and Tim Roth.

After its showing in Venice, “OTJ: The Missing 8” will also be screening in Rome and Milan in Italy.

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Image credit: HBO Asia’s Official Facebook Page