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'The Master Chief': Local movie highlights Filipino U.S. Navy sailors

Posted at 6:46 PM, Nov 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-16 21:47:03-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego couple Chris and Hillary Soriano released "The Master Chief Part One" this month, paying tribute to Filipino U.S. Navy sailors.

It's a group so tight-knit, it has its own code name.

"When you say the term Filipino Mafia, no matter who you are in the Navy, they'll acknowledge it. They'll say it," said Chris Soriano. "Because Filipinos are very resourceful. They work together."

"The Master Chief" puts a theatrical twist on what it's like to join the U.S. Navy as a Filipino.

"Where does someone like that fit in on board, and how do they rise in rank to get respect?" said Chris Soriano. "In the midst of all this, he goes on a secret mission and tries to gain respect that way."

The couple shot the movie in San Diego with a local cast and crew.

"I was the writer and director," said Chris Soriano.

"I was the executive producer and actress," said Hillary Soriano. "Chris was an actor as well."

"The Master Chief got its name because that's one of the highest ranks available to enlisted sailors. That includes many Filipino-American immigrants who need to become citizens before they can be officers. It's one of the movie's many nods to Filipino culture.

"The reason why we're creating these movies is to showcase Filipino culture," said Hillary Soriano. "And also to know that everyone else can relate to it."

The U.S. Navy says more than 15,000 Filipinos are actively serving in leadership positions at all levels of the U.S. Navy.

You can watch "The Master Chief" in certain theaters around the country for a limited time. Early next year it's coming to Amazon Prime, shortly before the Sorianos plan to start filming "The Master Chief Part Two."