Spellbound (2002) - Plot Summary Poster



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

  • 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.

  • Every spring since 1925, Scripps Howard newspapers sponsor spelling bees at grade schools across the U.S. Ten million kids competed in 1999. This documentary follows eight of them as they win regional bees and prepare for the national contest in D.C. They're from big cities, suburbs, and small towns. We watch them practice, we hear their views on study, competition, victory and defeat. We meet their families: two have single parents, three are children of immigrants. Once in D.C., we watch them compete and listen to their parents between rounds. Each is engaging, all are talented, and one might win it all. In America, says one immigrant dad, hard work brings success.


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