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John Lloyd Cruz Emerges as the Best Actor at the 76th Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland

August 18, 2023

August 18, 2023
Philippine’s King of Contemporary Cinema becomes the second Filipino to receive the prestigious Boccalino d’Oro Prize for his performance in Essential Truth of the Lake.

Despite weathering numerous controversies in recent years, John Lloyd Cruz stands resiliently as one of the country’s most exceptional talents. As a testament to his enduring skills in the industry, this year, his acting prowess secured him yet another prestigious accolade to embellish his already illustrious collection of achievements: the Boccalino d’Oro Prize for Best Actor.

For his outstanding performance in Lav Diaz’s Essential Truth of the Lake, John Lloyd Cruz bagged the Boccalino d’Oro (Golden Jug) Award for Best Actor at the 76th Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland. He becomes the second Filipino actor to have earned the same recognition—after Hazel Orencio, who also won the award in 2014 for her role in Lav’s Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon.

‘Para sa mga namatay at mga naiwan’: John Lloyd Cruz Wins Best Actor in the Annual Film Fest in Switzerland

Running from August 2 to 12 this year, the Boccalino d’Oro is awarded by the Independent Critics Jury in five categories as part of the annual film festival in Switzerland.  As the Best Actor Award recipient, John Lloyd Cruz shared in his acceptance speech how he dedicated this award to Filipinos. “Para sa Pilipinas. Para sa Pilipino. Para sa mga namatay at mga naiwan nila.”

Lav Diaz’s cinematic masterpiece, Essential Truth of the Lake, intricately weaves the narrative of a dedicated police lieutenant’s relentless pursuit of truth. Set against the backdrop of a chilling 15-year-old, the film unfurls the harrowing tale of grave human rights violations that occurred during the Duterte administration. Notably, the Film Development Council of the Philippines has highlighted that this compelling creation stands as the sole Southeast Asian entry to have earned a place in the competition, solidifying its unique distinction on the global stage.

As the film’s synopsis reads: “Faced with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody murders and brazen lies, Lt. Papauran continues his struggle to find resolution to a fifteen-year-old case around a volcanic ash-laden landscape and an impenetrable lake. It has become a cross he can barely carry but keeps lugging anyway. His survival then is in perpetuating the pain.”

FDCP Chairman and CEO Tirzo Cruz III shared in a statement: “It is with great joy and pride that I congratulate one of the most talented artists of our country, Mr. John Lloyd Cruz, for having won the Boccalino d’Oro prize for Best Actor at the 76th Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland. This award is much deserved by an artist of his caliber. Lloydie, congratulations, and thank you for bringing honor to our country.”

In addition to John Lloyd Cruz, the cast of Essential Truth of the Lake featured esteemed actors such as Shaina Magdayao, Bart Guingona, Agot Isidro, and a host of other exceptional talents from the country. Beyond its exploration of sociopolitical dimensions, the film serves as a beacon for cinematic excellence. With finesse, it depicts the noble embodiment of police officers driven by unwavering morale and civic principles, dedicated to helping the people rather than bolstering oppressive authority.

Cover image source: Epic Media PH

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