Eleven year-old Akeelah Anderson's life is not easy: her father is dead, her mom ignores her, her brother runs with the local gangbangers. She's smart, but her environment threatens to strangle her aspirations. Responding to a threat by her school's principal, Akeelah participates in a spelling bee to avoid detention for her many absences. Much to her surprise and embarrassment, she wins. Her principal asks her to seek coaching from an English professor named Dr. Larabee for the more prestigious regional bee. As the possibility of making it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee looms, Akeelah could provide her community with someone to rally around and be proud of -- but only if she can overcome her insecurities and her distracting home life. She also must get past Dr. Larabee's demons, and a field of more experienced and privileged fellow spellers. Written by
Shannon Patrick Sullivan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Changing the world... one word at a time.
28 April 2006 (USA)
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Also Known As:
A som i Akeelah
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Opening Weekend USA: $6,011,585,
30 April 2006, Wide Release
Gross USA: $18,811,135, 16 July 2006
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Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?
The final word spelled by Dylan is logorrhea. This is the winning word from the documentary Spellbound
(2002) which tracks several participants in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bell in 1999. See more
When Crenshaw Middle School celebrates Akeelah's placing third in the regional bee,an enlargement of an article about Akeelah from a local paper is shown in the background. Zooming in, you can see that the names of the school principal and Akeelah's chief rival do not match their names in the film. The principal is "Bob" Welch, according to the opening scene in the schoolyard; the article names him as "Marvin." Similarly, Dylan's surname is "Chiu" in the film, but in the article, his surname is an 8-letter name beginning with W or M. Clearly the article prop was made before the names of the characters were finalized. See more
You know that feeling where everything feels right? Where you don't have to worry about tomorrow or yesterday, where you feel safe and know you're doing the best you can? There's a word for that, it's called love. L-O-V-E.
Day by Day
Written by Stephanie Jones
(as S. Jones)
Performed by Stephanie Jones
Courtesy of Stephanie Jones See more