Filipino neo-noir action thriller On the Job: The Missing 8 is the Philippines's official entry to the 2023 Academy Awards or Oscars, deemed as the highest recognition in the film industry worldwide.
“The 95th Academy Awards Best International Feature Film may be ours this year," the Film Development Council of the Philippines said in a video announcement on Sept. 30. "Congratulations to the Philippine entry to the Oscar Awards, On the Job: The Missing 8 directed by Erik Matti."
The 2013 movie On the Job revolves around crime syndicates who temporarily release contracted prisoners to assassinate politicians. These crime syndicates, however, are also run by politicians. It stars Gerald Anderson and Joel Torre as gun-for-hire prisoners, while Joey Marquez and Piolo Pascual are policemen investigating the drug-related murder case connected to the prison gun-for-hire business.
Its 2021 sequel The Missing 8, meanwhile, follows pro-government journalist Sisoy Salas (John Arcilla) who investigates the disappearances of his colleagues. As events unfold, Sisoy begins reconsidering his support for the government.
It also features Roman Rubio (Dennis Trillo), a gun-for-hire prisoner who's sentenced to life for a crime he didn't commit. Growing sick of being a hitman, Roman finds ways to regain his freedom.
The Missing 8 premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival last September 2021, where Arcilla won the Coppa Volpi for best actor. That same year, HBO Go adapted the two movies as a six-part miniseries titled On the Job.
This Sept. 30, HBO's On the Job got nominated for best television movie or miniseries at yet another prestigious body, the International Emmy Awards. Awarding ceremonies will held in New York on Nov. 21.
Following the Emmy nomination, Matti wrote an Instagram post acknowledging that the competition is stiff in the age of streaming. He noted that tons of entries make their way to the Emmy’s each year, with great stories and well-made productions waiting to be considered.
"Who would have thought that a limited series like #OnTheJob from a small country in the Pacific would be recognized alongside some big titles from the UK, Chile and France?" he said.
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"It is our honor, Emmy’s," he added. "Congratulations, Pinas!"