International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR)

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Thursday, 8 February 2024

Release Jade Castro!

Urgent Call for the Release of Filipino filmmaker Jade Castro


The friends and family of Jade Castro, united under the banner of the Free Jade Castro NOW campaign, have informed us that as of March 12, 2024, Jade and his three friends have all been released from their unfair and unfounded detention. ICFR wishes them all well, and will continue to monitor possible future human rights violations in regards to Jade Castro or other members of the Filipino film industry.


Film director, teacher, screenwriter, and producer Jade Castro and three friends were detained without a warrant on 1 February 2024 and have since been kept at a municipal police station.

Having started his career as a script researcher and supervisor, Jade Castro made his directorial breakthrough with the 2007 romantic drama ENDO. The film won the jury prize at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. He also directed the romantic comedy MY BIG LOVE (2008), the gay-themed zombie comedy REMINGTON AND THE CURSE OF THE ZOMBADINGS (2011), as well as the comedies MY KONTRABIDA GIRL (2012) and MY LADY BOSS (2013), the drama series BEKI BOXER (2014), and the musical romantic drama LSS (LAST SONG SYNDROME, 2019).

On 31 January, Jade Castro and his friends Noel Mariano, Ernesto Orcine and Dominic Ramos attended the Cocolunay festival in Mulanay in the province of Quezon, where they mingled with the locals and enjoyed the festivities. There is CCTV footage of this and numerous witnesses have confirmed it.

At around the same time some twenty-two kilometres or more than half an hour away, in a different town, four masked individuals were allegedly seen as they stopped a jeep, at gunpoint forcing driver and passengers to leave the vehicle and then setting the jeep on fire.

On the next day, 1 February, Jade Castro and his friends were questioned by the police in connection with the jeep burning incident. No evidence was found on them, no motive to connect them to the jeep burning.

Still, they have since then been detained at Catanauan municipal police station. On top of that, the police have meanwhile issued a statement which was circulated widely by the media, in which Jade Castro and his friends have supposedly been identified as the individuals setting the jeep on fire.

The families of Jade, Noel, Ernesto, and Dominic have released a statement demanding a transparent and fair investigation and calling onto the media to be more critical and fair. Similar statements have been released by the Directors Guild of the Philippines, the Philippine Center of International PEN and the non-profit organization DAKILA.

Deeply worried about his well-being, the ICFR supports these statements and calls on the Philippine authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Jade Castro and his companions. We encourage all film and culture institutions around the world to do the same, and invite them to share the link to the fundraising call which is endorsed by his family.

International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk
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