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‘Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable’ Documentary Starts Shooting

Variety logo Variety 1/17/2017 Dave McNary
© Provided by Variety

Lieber Films has launched production in Hawaii on “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable,” a documentary following the life of the professional surfer, Variety has learned exclusively.

Hamilton was the subject of the 2011 biopic “Soul Surfer,” starring AnnaSophia Robb and Helen Hunt and inspired by her real-life experience as a teenager when a tiger shark claimed one of her arms — along with her determination to get back into the water after the tragic attack.

“Unstoppable” follows her journey from childhood into motherhood with a focus on her powerful resilience against all odds to become one of the leading professional surfers.

The film is being directed by Aaron Lieber, who also serves as producer. Jane Kelly Kosek of Meritage Pictures and Penny Edmiston (“Bones Brigade: An Autobiography”) are producers on the film.

The project originated with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign dubbed “Bethany Hamilton — Surfs Like a Girl” that raised over $116,671 from 1,453 backers to fund development. That figure nearly doubled the original goal.

“We had an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign to start things off and were completely blown away by the passion and support of Bethany’s fans,” said Lieber. “She has inspired millions and we’re excited to be able to share her spirit, enthusiasm and life story with audiences all over the world. With complete access to Bethany and her family, we’re able to present a special side of her that’s never been seen before.”

The producers are currently planning a summer release for the film and shopping it to potential distributors.

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