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Soul Surfer (2011)
Really Amazing Movie!
Soul Surfer is a 2011 American drama film about the life of surfer Bethany Hamilton. At the age of thirteen, Hamilton lost her arm to a shark attack. The film details the events surrounding this attack and her struggle during the aftermath. The film is directed by Sean McNamara, who based the screenplay on Hamilton's autobiography of the same name and on the filmmakers' interviews with the family. The title refers to a term coined in the 1960s to denote someone who surfs purely for pleasure, but the word soul has a double meaning as a reference to Hamilton's Christian faith, which helped her recover her surfing career after the attack. AnnaSophia Robb stars as Bethany Hamilton, Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt star as Hamilton's parents, and Lorraine Nicholson stars as Alana Blanchard with supporting roles done by Ross Thomas, Chris Brochu, Carrie Underwood, Kevin Sorbo, Jeremy Sumpter, Sonya Balmores, Branscombe Richmond, and Craig T. Nelson.
Plans for a film existed since shortly after the shark attack on Hamilton in 2003 and her subsequent recovery. After several false starts to production, McNamara was attached to direct the film, and new writers, Michael Berk, Deborah Schwartz and Douglas Schwartz were brought in. While the film is based on Hamilton's 2004 biographical book, the director, producers and writers interviewed the family to learn about unpublished conflicts to include in the film. Filming took place in Hawaii in early 2010, and Robb wore a green sleeve on her arm so visual effects could be added in post-production to create the appearance of a stump. Additional filming took place in Tahiti in August 2010.
FilmDistrict, which was launched in September 2010, formed a partnership with TriStar Pictures to release Soul Surfer in theaters. The company originally anticipated releasing the film in 300 theaters, but the company was impressed enough with the final product to pursue a release in 2,000 theaters. The film was released in theaters in the United States and Canada on April 8, 2011, and became the highest grossing live action surf film in history with over $43,000,000 in domestic box office. The film shows Bethany's story, including before the attack, during the attack, and the aftermath.