Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

Spelling the Dream (aka Breaking the Bee)


Year: 2018
Country: USA
Run Time: 96 minutes

Spelling the Dream (aka Breaking the Bee)
Spelling the Dream (aka Breaking the Bee)
Spelling the Dream (aka Breaking the Bee)
Spelling the Dream (aka Breaking the Bee)


For nearly 100 years, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has been an American institution, gaining even more prominence in 1994 when ESPN began airing the championship round. Since 1999, 18 of the last 22 National Spelling Bee winners have been Indian-American, and that streak doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. BREAKING THE BEE follows some of the Bee’s best young minds as they prepare for the 2017 Spelling Bee and their chance to be another in a long line of proud Indian-American students who can spell words virtually no one can use in a sentence. Including interviews with prominent Indian-American journalists, doctors, and comics, the film provides real insight into how a group who make up just 1% of the U.S. population can dominate such an area of expertise. While dedicating their lives to the Bee, these kids ooze charm and are inspirational examples of how hard work and determination can lead to great things. —T.W.

CIFF42 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Friday, April 06, 2018 at 6:50 PM

Sunday, April 08, 2018 at 4:35 PM

Family Films
Pan-Asian Cinema
Race Relations

Ad Hoc Docs Competition

Related Daily Postings
Story of a Spelling Bee Dynasty


Sam Rega

Sam Rega is a director, producer and editor in New York City. He edited documentaries for several years in Miami with rakontur, the studio behind the "Cocaine Cowboys" doc series. In addition to directing, he's worked at Business Insider as a senior producer. Sam is a graduate of the University of Miami and a Knight Arts Challenge recipient.

Miami Noir: The Arthur E. Teele Story (2008), League of Millions (2016), BREAKING THE BEE (2017)

Chris Weller, Sam Rega

Sam Rega, Chris Weller

Corey Eisenstein

Sam Rega

Sanjay Gupta, Fareed Zakaria, Hari Kondabolu, Kevin Negandhi, Nupur Lala

Print Source

Community Partners

Cleveland Play House

Seeds of Literacy

Media Partners

The Lotus

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