Watching a spelling bee competition is as exciting as......... the French Tennis Opens. You don't think so? Buy the DVD. This documentary follows eight kids through the 1999 National Spelling Bee competition. The kids are from very different backgrounds. Their stories are inspiring. This is a must see movie for kids and adults. Make sure you watch the DVD's extra materials. There are three more kids profiled and their story are equally interesting, especially the 9 year old.
What I like about the Spelling Bee Competition is that it is run professionally, with strict rules and regulations, without compromising the sportsmanship and spirit of the kids. The kids are more friends with each other than competitors. They all understand that being in the Nationals mean they are already winners. They seems to treat each other with respect and support and friendship. I think they are glad to find other kids that are like them. They do not need to feel special because they are smart, and studious, and focused.
Fast forward to the present, ESPN now carries the event live. I just watched the end of this years competition, with David Tidmarsh, a 13 year old winning the competition.
If you are interested in "where are they now" from the kids in the DVD, one story about Ashley White, the girl from DC, ran in the Washington Post. Some of the kids (April, Emily) are semi active on the discussion board at IMDB.