Spellbound ()

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

  • Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 17 nominations.
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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)
Himself - Spelling Bee Participant
Ms. Blair ...
Herself - Ted's Teacher
Dan Brigham ...
Himself - Ted's Brother
Tim Brigham ...
Himself - Ted's Brother (as Tim)
Earl Brigham ...
Himself - Ted's Father (as Earl)
Dorothy Brigham ...
Herself - Ted's Mother (as Dorothy)
Emily Stagg ...
Herself - Spelling Bee Participant
David Stagg ...
Himself - Emily's Father (as David)
Suzanne Stagg ...
Herself - Emily's Mother (as Suzanne)
Herself - Spelling Bee Participant
Angela White ...
Herself - Ashley's Mother (as Angela)
Ms. Williams ...
Herself - Ashley's Teacher
Sigourney White ...
Herself - Ashley's Sister (as Sigourney)
Himself - Spelling Bee Participant
Rajesh Kadakia ...
Himself - Neil's Father (as Rajesh)
Darshana Kadakia ...
Herself - Neil's Mother (as Darshana)
Shivani Kadakia ...
Herself - Neil's Sister (as Shivani)
Samye Hill ...
Herself - Neil's Spelling Coach
April DeGideo ...
Herself - Spelling Bee Participant
Al DeGideo ...
Himself - April's Father (as Al)
Gale DeGideo ...
Herself - April's Mother (as Gale)
Mr. Miller ...
Himself - April's Teacher
Harry Altman ...
Himself - Spelling Bee Participant
Fay Sharit ...
Herself - Harry's Mother (as Fay)
Paige Kimble ...
Herself - National Spelling Bee Director and 1981 National Champion
Alex Cameron ...
Himself - National Spelling Bee Pronouncer
Mona Goldstein ...
Herself - Mother of Last Year's 4th Place Speller
Frank Neuhauser ...
Himself - 1925 National Champion
Jonathan Knisely ...
Himself - 1971 National Champion
Balu Natarajan ...
Himself - 1985 National Champion
Janaky Natarajan ...
Herself - Balu's Mother
George Thampy ...
Himself - Spelling Bee Participant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vinay Krupadev ...
Boy Who Says Yenta
Julianne Ruth ...
Herself - Angela's Friend
Jacques Bailly ...
Himself (uncredited)
William Dolan ...
Himself (uncredited)
Katie Kerwin McCrimmon ...
Herself (uncredited)

Directed by

Jeffrey Blitz

Produced by

Jeffrey Blitz ... producer
Ronnie Eisen ... additional producer
Sean Welch ... producer

Music by

Daniel Hulsizer

Film Editing by

Yana Gorskaya

Editorial Department

Chris Perkel ... editorial support
Mark Reaser ... audio layback

Art Department

Adam Byrne ... graphics designer
Yana Gorskaya ... graphics designer
Nancy Lowry ... set dresser (uncredited)

Sound Department

Greg Brazel ... additional sound recordist: Washington D.C.
Peter Brown ... re-recording mixer
Joe Dzuban ... sound effects editor
Sean Welch ... sound recordist
Peter Brown ... supervising sound editor (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Jeffrey Blitz ... camera operator
Greg Brazel ... additional camera: Washington DC
Mac Carter ... additional camera: Washington DC
David Gruenberg ... additional camera: Washington DC
Rob Lyall ... additional camera: Washington DC
Sheila Smith ... additional camera: Washington DC (as Shiela Smith)

Other crew

Andy Blitz ... funding provided by
Erin Heidenreich ... sales agent
Sally Steele ... publicist
Winston Emano ... publicist (uncredited)
David Magdael ... publicist (uncredited)


Kate Amend ... special thanks
Jacques Bailly ... special thanks
Diane West Blitz ... special thanks
Alex Cameron ... special thanks (as Alex J. Cameron)
Mac Carter ... special thanks
Melissa Simon Disharoon ... special thanks (as Melissa Disharoon)
Michael Donaldson ... special thanks
Breck Eisner ... special thanks
Arturo Everitt ... special thanks
Bradley Feldman ... special thanks
Hugh Flick ... special thanks
Ed Gildred ... special thanks
David Gruenberg ... special thanks
Mark J. Harris ... special thanks
Adrian Herrera ... special thanks
Claire Husted ... special thanks
Martin Hynes ... special thanks
Paige Kimble ... special thanks (as Paige P. Kimble)
Jonathan Knisely ... special thanks (as Jonathan Knisley)
Eve Lindeman ... special thanks
Linda Loeffler ... special thanks
Greg McCambridge ... special thanks
Frank Neuhauser ... special thanks
Jean-Michel Richaud ... special thanks
Maia Rossini ... special thanks
Harvard L. Weiss ... special thanks
Chad Wilson ... special thanks
Robyn Wilson ... special thanks

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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 Keywords
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Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Завороженный (Russia)
  • Agonisma orthografias (Greece)
  • Mistrzowie ortografii (Poland)
  • 97 min
Official Sites
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Opening Weekend United States $17,508, 04 May 2003

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 »
Movie Connections Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003). See more »
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 »
Quotes Harry Altman: Does this sound like a musical robot?
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