Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Arenivar ...
Herself - Spelling Bee Participant
Ubaldo Arenivar ...
Himself - Angela's Father (as Ubaldo)
Jorge Arenivar ...
Himself - Angela's Brother (as Jorge)
Scott McGarraugh ...
Himself - Ranch Owner (as Mr. McGarraugh)
Lindy McGarraugh ...
Herself - Ranch Owner (as Mrs. McGarraugh)
Concepción Arenivar ...
Herself - Angela's Mother (as Concepción)
Mrs. Slaughter ...
Herself - Angela's Teacher
Neelima Marupudi ...
Herself - Potter County Champion (as Neelima)
Nupur Lala ...
Herself - Spelling Bee Participant
Ms. Whitehurst ...
Herself - Nupur's Teacher
Parag Lala ...
Himself - Nupur's Father (as Parag)
Meena Lala ...
Herself - Nupur's Mother (as Meena)
Kuna Lala ...
Himself - Nupur's Brother (as Kuna)
Ted Brigham ...
Himself - Spelling Bee Participant
Ms. Blair ...
Herself - Ted's Teacher
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Storyline

This documentary follows 8 teens and pre-teens as they work their way toward the finals of the Scripps Howard national spelling bee championship in Washington D.C. All work quite hard and practice daily, first having to win their regional championship before they can move on. Interviews include the parents and teachers who are working with them. The competitors not only work hard to get to the finals but face tremendous pressure as the original group of over 250 competitors is whittled down and the words they must spell get ever more difficult. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Little kids. Big words. American dreams. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

27 June 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agonisma orthografias  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$17,508 (USA) (2 May 2003)

Gross:

$5,728,431 (USA) (5 December 2003)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2007, it was added to "IDA's Top 25 Documentaries" of all-time by the International Documentary Association ranked #4. See more »

Goofs

While interviewing Harry in his room the boom mic is deliberately shown after Harry asks "Is that thing edible?" See more »

Quotes

Harry Altman: Does this sound like a musical robot?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to The Blitz Family, The Arenivar Family, The Brigham Family, The DeGideo Family, The Kadakia Family, The Lala Family, The Lieberman Family, The Natarajian Family, The Pagels Family, The Stagg Family, The Stoecker Family, The Thampy Family, The White Family, Linda Loeffler & Family and all the participants of The National Spelling Bee. See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Documentary With a Way With Words
16 January 2005 | by (San Francisco, California) – See all my reviews

"Spellbound" is the acclaimed documentary that follows four young contestants in the 72nd Annual National Spelling Bee. One might think a spelling bee wouldn't be an even interesting enough to warrant a documentary. But this is the grand championship of spelling bees, the equivalent of the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards or the Presidential Election. Out of nine million schoolkids, only 249 make it to the finals. The young contestants and their families struggle to make it to the top. It's an exciting and stressful experience for those involved. "Spellbound" covers what these people are going through. You will feel for the young contestants, and want them to win it all. It's thrilling to see these children tackle the most overwhelming words in the English language. One young standout is Harry, the eccentric young boy from New Jersey. He lightens up the doc, and steals the show! You won't understand the prestige and daunting psychology of spelling bees until you see "Spellbound."


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