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By Angela Arenivar (Actor), Ubaldo Arenivar (Actor), Jorge Arenivar (Actor), Mr. Scott McGarraugh (Actor), Mrs. Lindy McGarraugh (Actor) & Jeffrey Blitz (Director)
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Item Number 421813  
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Item Specifications...

Record Label   Sony Pictures
Format   Color / Dolby / DVD / Full Screen / S
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.4" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.6"
Binding  DVD Video
Publisher   PROVIDENT #130
ISBN  0012495921  
EAN  0043396030411  
UPC  043396030411  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This funny, touching and Oscar (R) nominated documentary (2003) follows eight competitors and their parents as they vie to become champion of the National Spelling Bee. Child-parent teamwork, dedication, sacrifice and a passion to learn and compete are showcased in these amazing stories. Run Time 97 min. Dove Approved All Ages. G

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More About Angela Arenivar, Ubaldo Arenivar, Jorge Arenivar, Mr. Scott McGarraugh, Mrs. Lindy McGarraugh & Jeffrey Blitz

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Benedicta Ward is a reader in the history of early Christian spirituality at the Theology Faculty in Oxford. She has translated The Prayers and Meditations of St. Anselm for Penguin Classics.

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High Drama in 1999 Spelling Bee  May 27, 2010
"Spellbound" is a suspenseful documentary that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the final winner emerges. The film frames and shows the real-life experience of the National Spelling Bee as seen through the eyes of eight young spellers. Their private lives are filmed and the eight featured American children come from a varied spectrum of backgrounds. As they make their way to the national competetion they are shown as they train in this fantastic intellectual show-down. We are privy to their parents' support and pride in their achievements, as well as their intense desire and study habits. The individual stories are intimate and fascinating studies showing a drive impressive and motivating to watch.

The drama of all the local community winners coming together for the National Spelling Bee is insanely riveting. Overall it is a fantastic movie where we are reminded of America's ideals and that children from all socioeconomic backgrounds have a chance for the prize.
And Vanna Doesn't Even Give Them Letters  Mar 24, 2010
We live in a culture that is increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of singular excellence. Many of us would prefer to avoid saying one person's idea is better than another's, that one religion is true or one nation is the best. We would rather not say one person is the best, except for bar arguments involving professional sports. We wouldn't dream of saying one child was the best. Perhaps that's part of the reason why elementary school award ceremonies increasingly give an award for SOMETHING to every child ("Least Cluttered Desk", "Most Improved in P.E."), to protect self-esteem. High schools hesitate to give an award to a single valedictorian, fearing litigation. Little League All-Star team rosters grow.
That is one of the reasons the documentary film, Spellbound, directed by Jeffrey Blitz, is so compelling. It features children of singular excellence. Even those who have problems with "I before e, except after c" will be captivated by this presentation of the 1999 National Spelling Bee. There is a single champion at the Bee; one child competes to be the best speller in the nation for that year. The film follows eight students as they prepare for the Bee. You'll find yourself choosing favorites to root for, and if (like me) you have a mean streak, you may find a child or two to root against. (I will tell you who I was pulling for: a girl named Angela from Texas whose father had entered the United States illegally so his children would have an education. The father works on a ranch and still doesn't speak English himself because, "the cows don't understand English, either.")
The competition includes children of financial and academic privilege (the parents of a student from San Clemente, California, hire French and German tutors to help with words from those derivations) and children who seem to have only their natural abilities to aid them (a child from the Washington D.C. housing projects receives a dictionary from a teacher and is told, "I guess you can start anywhere in here.")
The students vary in levels of natural giftedness, but all show a dedication to their task. Some of them practice up to eight hours a day, to the exclusion of everything else.
Not only does the movie present a competition with only one winner, it records students talking about singular excellence in other areas. More than one of the students speak of the United States as the best nation on earth. (A child whose family comes from India states, "In India, there are no second chances. In America, everyone gets a second chance.") We also see the religious background of some of the children. A boy named George gives priorities for life, clearly stating that the number one priority in life should be Jesus. Many of these students have a clear idea that just as they want to be the best speller (one says, "I can't be the best horseback rider among my friends or the best voice in my choir, but this is something I can be the best at."), there are areas of life where they should make judgments about what is the best thing.
Some students don't hope to be the champion, but do hope to make it to the final round, covered by ESPN. Why does ESPN cover the National Spelling Bee? I don't want to make the argument that spelling bees are sports (especially since I'm not firmly convinced in my own mind that bowling and golf are sports), but it certainly is competition--sometimes a fierce and near-brutal competition (one child jokes about one mother calling the Bee "child abuse"). A single misspoken letter takes a child out of the competition.
All of this leads to the question, "Is competition a good or bad thing?" Well, we can look to Scripture. In the words of Paul, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to gain a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." (1 Corinthians 9:24-25, NIV)
This film provided me with a new appreciation of that Scripture. Fortunately, we do not face a judge ready to ring a bell and send us away after a single mistake; our judge is a loving father who wants us to succeed. But we still need to strive for excellence, which does take dedication and discipline.
Spellbound was nominated for the Academy Award for best documentary in 2002. Among the extras on the DVD are updates on all the profiled spellers, as well as commentary from the filmmakers. It's worth the effort to find this true story full of suspense and humor (as a bonus, keep a sharp lookout for perhaps the only wholesome visual gag in film history involving a Hooters franchise).
Major Histocompatibility Complex =)  Feb 1, 2010
This is my favorite film... "Repetiteur" is such a cute girl and "Apocope" is so smart.

But the fun is had at the expense of the black girl "Lycanthrope, Ecclesiastical" whose life is harsher than the other privileged kids. But this is just a game and this is just an early part of their lives. I wish them all well.
Spellbound is an eye opening movie  Dec 25, 2009
This movie follows eight national spelling bee contestants through the preparation in their home towns to the actual contest. It shows just how much kids can achieve with determination and hard work. I highly recommend this for everyone, but especially for parents to show to their hard to motivate children.
compelling and uplifting  Feb 14, 2009
This is one of the most fun, uplifting documentaries I've seen in a long time. I really thought that the filmmakers struck a great balance between letting us get to know the subjects and keeping the "storyline" moving. It's always a challenge to follow multiple subjects but in "Spellbound" this is done masterfully. Each one of the children drew me in and their struggles and dreams became my own for the duration of the film. Although I wouldn't say "Spellbound" was deep or profound it did elevate the idea of hard work and goal setting in a way that I found admirable. This film deserves all the success it has had.

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