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Lionsgate's 'Akeelah' Buzzes to DVD

2 Jun, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The celebrated spelling-bee film Akeelah and the Bee, about an 11-year-old girl from South Central Los Angeles who works her way from the inner city to the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee, will be released on DVD by Lionsgate Aug. 29.

The DVD will be distributed through traditional retail outlets, as well as the country's more than 6,000 Starbucks coffeehouses. Starbucks also had supported the film's theatrical release.

Lionsgate promises a major promotional push, with heavy print and broadcast advertising.

“Every so often a film comes along with a story so heartwarming and inspirational that it needs to be shared,” said Lionsgate president Steve Beeks. “Akeelah and the Bee is that movie. It's the ultimate feel-good story of accomplishment against all odds.”

Akeelah and the Bee stars Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett and grossed nearly $16 million in a limited theatrical engagement that began April 30. The DVD includes several extras, including a making-of documentary. The finals of the real-life Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee were broadcast Thursday on ABC.

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