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

Director:

Jeffrey Blitz
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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Taglines:

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


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spellbound won the Emmy for Cultural/Artistic Programming and Jeffrey Blitz was a nominee for directing. 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

April DeGideo - Spelling Bee Participant: In summer I kind of worked around 8 to 9 hours a day, but as school began I just worked about 5 to 6 hours a day.
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Crazy Credits

There is no cast list; a cast member is considered credited if a subtitle or an item in the film prints the name (or partial name). See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

User Reviews

 
The Documentary With a Way With Words
16 January 2005 | by EmperorNortonIISee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

10 October 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Spellbound See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,508, 4 May 2003

Gross USA:

$5,728,581

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,457,710
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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