Filipino movies

‘On The Job: The Missing 8’ to compete at Venice film fest

‘On The Job: The Missing 8’ to compete at Venice film fest

OTJ. John Arcilla as Sisoy, a local radio journalist, in 'On The Job: The Missing 8.'

Erik Matti's Instagram

Erik Matti's 'On The Job: The Missing 8' is the lone Philippine entry to premiere at the Italian film festival's main competition

Buy Bust director Erik Matti’s new film, On The Job: The Missing 8, is set to compete and make its world premiere at the upcoming 78th Venice International Film Festival, from September 1 to 11, 2021.

On Monday, July 26, Venice International Film Festival presented the official selection of movies from across the world that made it to the main and out-of-competition line-up.

The On The Job sequel, starring John Arcilla, Dennis Trillo, and Dante Rivero is the lone Philippine entry to the main competition. It will be competing under the main competition for full-length feature films category.

The movie is the follow-up to Matti’s critically-acclaimed 2013 action-thriller film On The Job, starring Gerald Anderson, Joel Torre, and Piolo Pascual.

Based on true events, On The Job: The Missing 8 tells the story of a local radio journalist Sisoy (John Arcilla) and a hitman-inmate Roman (Dennis Trillo) as they negotiate and question their loyalty to a well-known politician, especially after eight people go missing.

On The Job: The Missing 8’s cast includes Christopher De Leon, Lotlot De Leon, Vandolph Quizon, and Dante Rivero. Joining them are Andrea Brillantes, Leo Martinez, Agot Isidro, Eric Fructuoso, Wendell Ramos, Megan Young, Isabelle De Leon, and Levi Ignacio.

The On The Job full-length sequel was supposed to be followed by a five-part limited series, but the team eventually scrapped the plan for undisclosed reasons. It was originally scheduled for release in June 2019.

Matti shared via Instagram on July 3 the “arduous” process of editing, which for the movie was a mix of shot material, existing historical footage, photos, as well as motion graphics.

“The devil is in the details I guess,” he wrote.

On The Job: The Missing 8 is the only Philippine entry to compete alongside 20 of some of the world cinema’s heavyweights – including Maggie Gyllenhaal’s debut feature The Lost Daughter, starring Olivia Coleman; Pablo Larraín’s Spencer with Kristen Stewart; and Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter with Oscar Isaac and Willem Dafoe. Pedro Almodovar’s film Madres paralelas will open the festival. 

Academy Award-winning and Parasite director Bong Joon-Ho is the president of the jury for this year’s festival. He is joined by Oscar-winning Nomadland director Chloé Zhao, Cynthia Erivo, Alexander Nanau, Saverio Costanza, Virginie Efira, and Sarah Gadon.

The Italian film festival is the world’s oldest-running competition for cinema. According to their website, it aims to “raise awareness and promote international cinema in all its forms as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and dialogue.” – with reports from Paolo Alejandrino/

Paolo Alejandrino is a Rappler intern.