Sunday 14th March 5:30 PM


This documentary follows eight contestants, aged 12 to 15, through the preparations for, and then the agonies and ecstasies of, a two-day knock-out spelling competition in Washington DC, the climax of the 1999 National Spelling Bee contest. Blitz sets his sights wider than just the question of who will win. It�s great drama made fascinating by the pithy introduction to the characters in their habitats and then the tense, teasing drama of the actual competition. Crisp, judicious editing by Yana Gorskaya pulls all this into beguiling shape. This is a drama as enthralling as any fiction.

Nominated for Best Documentary Film, Oscars 2003


“A hilarious and often unwatchably tense

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian