Professional surfer and outspoken Christian Bethany Hamilton is the subject of the new documentary “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable,” and says God is responsible for giving her a story that can inspire others.
The popular shark attack survivor behind the blockbuster film “Soul Surfer” will now give viewers an intimate look at her personal life, struggles, victories and challenges in the new Entertainment Studios documentary releasing in theaters nationwide on July 12.
The film follows Hamilton as she tackles motherhood when she least expects it, her comeback to becoming one of the top surfing champions in the world, and the first time she takes on massive wave surfing. The female athlete has become a source of motivation to millions through her story of determination, faith and hope after she lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark at age 13.
“My new film ‘Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable’ is so special to me and here’s why: God gave me a story that so many people can find hope in, in their own life,” Hamilton told The Christian Post on Wednesday.
“We all have unexpected twists and turns in life. We all have circumstances that come out of nowhere and throw a wrench in our plans. Yet it is possible to overcome them and to value the beautiful things in life. And not only that, but thrive and accomplish more than we or anyone else thought possible!”
While still competing and setting records, the inspiring surfer turned role model is set on helping others.
“That’s why now everything I’m working toward, from this movie to my website, to my new online course (The Unstoppable Year), is all aimed at equipping and giving people tools to learn to be unstoppable too. And we know that is ultimately through Christ,” she testified.
The stunning cinematography from “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable” was captured by the film’s director Aaron Lieber who has been making surf films for almost two decades.
“When I first met her and saw her surfing abilities, she was surfing with a world champ that was a friend of hers, and she was surfing at that same level. That was the initial inspiration to make a film with her, it was to really showcase her talent as a surfer,” Lieber told CP.
The filmmaker originally was going to make a short six-minute surf film based on Hamilton’s abilities but after spending some time with her the project evolved. Six years later it is now a 90-minute full documentary of her showcasing both her skill and tenacity.
“Starting out making this film six years ago, I didn’t know I was going to do with everything that we did,” Lieber admitted. “I followed her life for four-and-a-half years and I just trusted my gut and my intuition that after enough time, I would have enough material to make a film. I didn’t know that all the things that ended up happening in the film would happen, it all really happened.”
“For me, I think filming and traveling with them was always about being prepared. So whether it was a having a GoPro in my pocket or a GH4 around my neck or my red camera, like always having a camera ready to capture moments as they happen. Once I realized that I had enough of that material. It was September 2016,” he shared.
Lieber captured 80 terabytes of footage and had over 500 hours of archives to go through once it was all said and done. The footage gives viewers a glimpse into the beauty of surfing and Hamilton’s unbelievable courage.
He teamed up with two female producers and a female lead editor, Carol Martori, who all have 20 years of background doing long-form narrative stories.
“They came in and really helped guide the film, to make sure it wasn’t just another surf film. It was really a story of a girl becoming a woman and all these other elements were kind of included in a much more dynamic way that I just couldn’t have done alone,” Lieber said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law