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Movie Being Made About Inspirational Surfer Attacked By Shark

Posted Jun 26 2010 7:00am

This young gal is a Christian and not afraid to share what is was that has gotten her through those tragic moments. The movie was being filmed in February 2010 and rumors say it will be out Summer 2010. This will be a wonderful family flick and a great youth outreach event for churches as well. You can read more about this remarkable woman and get updates on the film’s status at her web site BethanyHamilton.com .

And watch a video about Bethany Hamilton from the TODAY show here . (A new window will open if you click that.)

Here is some of the highlights from the information we received:

Transporting a real-life tale of adventure, tragedy, courage, and a story as impressive as Hawaii’s most famous waves, principal photography began in Februar 2010 on the North Shores of Oahu and Kauai, on Soul Surfer. The inspirational film is based on the champion surfer Bethany Hamilton, who, for over six years, has defied all odds to compete and win professional championships after losing her arm in a shark attack at age thirteen.

Chronicling the rise of a promising young athlete, a debilitating tragedy and one of the greatest sports comebacks ever, Soul Surfer is a poignant story about the heart and soul of a champion. Hawaiian native Bethany Hamilton entered her first major surfing competition at age eight, going on to win contests such as the 1999 Haleiwa Menehune Championships and competing in the circuit. By thirteen she was well-respected in the surfing world, but her dream of becoming a pro surfer was interrupted, on October 31, 2003, when she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore.

Losing more than half her blood, yet miraculously surviving, Bethany was now living without a left arm. The determination to pursue her dream, however, had not been taken away. She was back in the water a month later, learning to paddle with one arm and to find her balance on the surfboard. Rip Curl, her surf sponsor and supporter of the film, never gave up on her dreams either. In fact, two summers later Bethany Hamilton took first place in the NSSA National Championships, a goal she had sought to achieve since before the shark attack. In 2008, Bethany began competing full-time in the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series and recently competed at the ASP World Junior Championships.

In 2008 and 2009, Bethany finished in the finals numerous times including second place in the World Junior Pro in Portugal in 2009 to propel her into the top 12 world rankings. She won the Nickelodeon 2004 “Teen Choice” award and the 2004 “ESPY” award and 2005 USA Today “Free Spirit Award.”

Bethany Hamilton has become an inspirational icon to people around the world, transcending the sport of surfing by overcoming adversity, achieving her dreams, and encouraging others to do the same.

Soul Surfer stars Golden Globe nominee (as Bethany’s father Tom), Academy Award winner Helen Hunt (as Bethany’s mother Cheri), Young Artist Award winner AnnaSophia Robb (as Bethany Hamilton) and four-time Grammy winner and platinum-selling music artist (as Church Youth Leader Sarah Hill) in her film debut. The cast also includes Lorraine Nicholson (as Alana Blanchard) and Kevin Sorbo (as Holt Blanchard).

“I’ve been a writer and producer for the past 32 years, and I’ve never encountered a more inspiring true story than Bethany Hamilton’s” stated Doug Schwartz (Baywatch co-creator). “The movie will encourage people worldwide to rise above adversity.”

“Watching her surf is like an optical illusion. She does things that your mind can’t immediately comprehend,” offered executive producer David Zelon.

“Witnessing Bethany’s historical sports comeback and inspirational effect on people 8 to 80 years old has been a privilege” added Hamilton’s manager and producer Roy Dutcher Hofstetter.

Hamilton’s autobiography, (Simon & Schuster) has sold nearly 1.5 million copies since its publication in 2004. A sequel, “Soul Surfer-Now a Movie,” is planned in conjunction with the movie’s theatrical release.

The newspaper Pasadena Weekly also shares the impact the family’s Christian faith has had on those around them during the filming:

Bethany explains, “[Youth minister Sarah Hill] came and visited me in the hospital, and gave me the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11, which means, ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,’” recalls Hamilton. “That gave me peace because it told me God is in control. He’s going turn this into something, and it ended up being something amazing and good. Of course I can’t say I didn’t ever get frustrated because, yes, I did. But eventually I moved on. And I hope this movie can show people the way to do that in their lives.”

Depicting Bethany’s dad a former teenage surfer turned born-again Christian named Tom also had a profound personal effect on Quaid. The 52-year-old with a 30-year career as a leading-man is also the father of 2-year-old twins who were given what should have been a lethal dose of Heparin after their birth.

Speaking to [Pasadena Weekly] while sitting between takes in a house serving as the set for the Hamilton home, Quaid poignantly noted two factors that drove him to agree to play the role of Tom without even reading the script. First, he believes that the “millions of prayers worldwide” for his babies saved their lives. Second, he noted that watching the real-life Tom Hamilton day after day, “walking his faith,” finally compelled him to embrace God himself.

“When I read a script is the only time I can see a story like the audience itself. This really got me. It was uplifting, and I hope people see that,” says Quaid, who accepted the offer immediately after Hamilton’s story recounted on a December episode of NBC’s “Today” show reduced him to tears. “We all have problems that we live with in life that are so huge to us on a daily basis, in our daily grind. Seeing this film and hearing this story makes you want to let go and let God. There aren’t any big problems in life, really just a bunch of little details.”

This will be a great movie to take teenagers to see and part of me cannot help but wonder if this young lady will create a stir among young people for faith in the midst of tragedy as Joni Eareckson Tada did for my generation in the seventies.

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