Movies


Interesting documentary of selected Scrabble players. Watch it...

1.) Word Wars (Tiles and Tribulations on the Scrabble Circuit)
Word Wars is a 2004 documentary film directed by Eric Chaikin and Julian Petrillo about competitive Scrabble playing. Its full title is: Word Wars - Tiles and Tribulations on the Scrabble Circuit. The film was an official selection at the 2004 Sundance film festival had a 25-city theatrical run, was included as part of the Discovery Times Channel's "Screening Room" series, and was nominated for numerous awards including a 2004 Documentary Emmy for "Best Artistic or Cultural Programming" and an International Documentary Association (IDA) Award. The film is distributed by 7th Art Releasing.

The film follows four players in the nine months leading up to the 2002 National Scrabble Championship, which was held in San Diego, California: Joe Edley, Matt Graham, Marlon Hill, and Joel Sherman. These players also appear in Stefan Fatsis's book Word Freak, as does Chaikin. Fatsis and Chaikin are both tournament Scrabble players themselves.

(If your browser doesn't work here, go to this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyjS0Xdzrlc)


2.) Stu: The Movie
(This appeared in The Last Word Newsletter Issue No. 8 - June 2010, page 46)
Travis Chaney and his wife, Mandy Valencia, share their short documentary about the most prolific and oldest expert tournament SCRABBLE® player, Stu Goldman. Says Chaney: “We filmed it in  2009 and finished it in January of this year to submit it for the Ashland [OR] Independent Film  Festival. To our surprise, they accepted the film. We don’t have any more plans for this film.  Mostly we just wanted to make a little homage to Stu and share it with other tournament  SCRABBLE® players. The most positive thing about the experience is that it inspired Mandy and  me to make more films. We recently invested in a Canon EOS 7D to create even better films. Personally, I would love to make a documentary about Nigel Richards and hope to start work on that when I see him at the World Players Championship in August.”
To see the film, go to http://www.vimeo.com/11904449.

Stu’s response to Travis and Mandy:
"Thanx so much for this wonderful video! You may have done me too much honor. But it's certainly SCRABBLE®, and the marvelous people like you I've met through it that have kept me in top mental condition. If there's anything I would have added it would be club activity. My club, No. 5, was the first successful SCRABBLE® Club under NSA sponsorship in the US (the Toronto club is No. 4), and when people kept track of such things, I had more club games and wins than anyone else.That reminds me of a now outmoded system of classification, based on number of wins. The first plateau was 50 wins, the second 100 wins and the third 200 wins, if memory serves. The players who first achieved the first two of these, Marjorie Schoneboom and Gary Brown, respectively, beat me to win it, but I got the third.Thanx again. I was thrilled watching it."

Stu

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