Surfing to Cope
Available on iTunes
Take a quick look at Brianna Cope and you’ll see a girl who has it all: beauty, athleticism, an idyllic life in Hawaii and the chance to be the best in her sport. While all of this is true, there is more to Brianna’s story. Brianna was born with a deformed left hand, an irreversible birth defect that took her parents and doctors by surprise. Throughout her life, Brianna has endured teasing and bullying, and struggled with her self-image. There was only one place where she felt confident – in the ocean. Surfing became Brianna’s method for coping with her insecurities and feelings of otherness. Brianna has never spoken publicly about her birth defect. When she’s not in the water, her hand is often closed or hidden behind her surfboard, and she carefully curates her social media images to avoid showing it. At 23 years old, Brianna is just now starting to accept her physical appearance and feels ready to talk about her hand in public. This film gives the audience a very personal look inside Brianna’s life. She opens up about her childhood and her current struggles while showing us a raw, unedited version of herself. As a professional surfer and role model to a younger generation, Brianna has realized that her personal story has the power to inspire and teach lessons of acceptance. She wants to live by example, feel proud of her whole self, and prove that she can rise above her physical and emotional challenges to pursue her dreams of becoming a champion surfer.
Starring Brianna Cope, Bethany Hamilton, Rochelle Ballard
Director Katie Walsh