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Poster for From Book to Film: Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
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From Book to Film: Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

Opens on August 4

Director: Doug Atchison Run Time: 112 min. Rating: PG Release Year: 2006

Starring: Angela Bassett, Eddie Steeples, Jeff Marlow, Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne, Sara Niemietz

Country: United States
Language: English

From Book to Film at Gateway Film Center

The essential summer film series returns with a new theme each month. August features stories for teens ages 11-17. Visit Ticket Center beginning at noon the day of the screening to reserve your spot!

Admission is free with your library card. Don’t have a card? You can ​apply for one online.

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About the film:

The award-winning underdog story inspired by the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. A young Keke Palmer received universal praise for her portrayal of Akeelah Anderson, an eleven-year-old determined to spell her way out of South Los Angeles and make it to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. With a supportive tutor (Laurence Fishburne) coaching her, Akeelah may even show her pessimistic mother (Angela Bassett) she has what it takes to win.

“doing the right thing involves more than winning. That’s what makes the film particularly valuable for young audiences”

Roger Ebert

The National Board of Review elected Akeelah and the Bee (2006) one of the top ten independent films produced in 2006. Among many accolades, the film received five NAACP Image Awards nominations, winning Outstanding Writing for a Feature Film and Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for Keke Palmer.

About the filmmaker:

Doug Atchison is an American film director and screenwriter known for crafting the award-winning feature film, Akeelah and the Bee (2006). His script for the film won a Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and was adapted into a stage play performed around the country. Among other projects, Atchison wrote the screenplay for Brian Banks (2018) about the California Innocence Project’s battle to exonerate a falsely accused and wrongfully imprisoned Long Beach high school football player. For his work, he won the 2019 Humanitas Prize in the Independent Feature Film category. Atchison graduated from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television. He sits on the Inclusion and Equity Group for the Writers Guild of America and is an active board member for A Place Called Home, a youth center in South Los Angeles.

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Donna and Larry James
Columbus Metropolitan Library
Campus Partners
Ohio Arts Council
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Campus Partners
National Endowment for the Arts
CD 92.9 FM
G&J Pepsi
WOSU Public Media


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