Dennis Quaid, AnnaSophia Robb, and Helen Hunt as Tom, Bethany, and Cheri Hamilton. Photo by Mario Perez.

SOUL SURFER is the inspiring true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton.  She’s the young surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack a few years ago.  I remember seeing the news story and then watching how she dealt with the loss of a potential professional surfing career with such grace.  She appeared to be mature beyond her years and was such an inspiration to me and many others about what it means to be human.

SOUL SURFER  is based on Bethany’s 2004 biography, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. It’s the story of how Bethany fought to recover and how she grappled with the future. With the support of her parents, Tom (Quaid) and Cheri (Hunt), she refuses to give in or give up, and she works to regain her independence and most importantly, her return to the water. Even still, she wonders why this happened, would she be able to surf again, and if not, who would she be without it?

Soul Surfer /sohl serf-er/ – noun; 1. A term coined in the 1970s, used to describe a talented surfer who surfs for the sheer pleasure of it. Although they may still enter competitions, a Soul Surfer’s m go beyond winning.

When the devastating 2004 tsunami in the Pacific Ocean  happened, Bethany traveled to Phuket, Thailand with her youth-group leader Sara Hill (Underwood).  It’s here she realized that she could make a difference in the lives of others.  This filled her with a new sense of hope and direction and it renewed her resolve to conquer her own limitations and set an example for others facing adversity.

“Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of.”
— Bethany Hamilton

Soul Surfer will be in theaters on April 8, 2011 and is rated PG.


Story by Sean McNamara Deborah Schwartz Douglas Schwartz Michael Berk Matt R. Allen Caleb Wilson Brad Gann
Based on Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board Bethany Hamilton Sheryl Berk Rick Bundschuh
Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, and AnnaSophia Robb as Tom, Cheri and Bethany Hamilton. Photo by Mario Perez.

Production & Cast

Directed by Sean McNamara
Produced by Sean McNamara David Brookwell Douglas Schwartz Dutch Hofstetter
Screenplay by Sean McNamara Deborah Schwartz Douglas Schwartz Michael Berk
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date(s) April 8, 2011


Lorraine Nichoson and AnnaSophia Robb as Alana Blanchard and Bethany Hamilton. Photo by Mario Perez.
Free Advance Screenings

Free tickets to special advance screenings across the country.  Get a mobile, admit-2 ticket, while they last at:

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If you would like to attend a screening in one of the above cities, please click the link for more details and follow the instructions to get your mobile ticket. Text service provided by 43KIX is free of charge. Standard text message rates from your wireless provider may apply. Check your plan.


Official Soul Surfer website


AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany Hamilton. Photo by Noah Hamilton. AnnaSophia Robb and Lorraine Nicholson as Bethany Hamilton and Alana Blanchard. Photo by Noah Hamilton.