Word Wars

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Word Wars
Directed byEric Chaikin
Julian Petrillo
Produced byEric Chaikin
StarringJoe Edley
Matt Graham
Marlon Hill
Joel Sherman
CinematographyLaela Kilbourn
Edited byConor O'Neill
Music byThor Madsen
Distributed by7th Art Releasing
Release date
  • 2004 (2004)
Running time
80 minutes

Word Wars is a 2004 documentary film directed by Eric Chaikin and Julian Petrillo about competitive Scrabble playing.[1] 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,[2] 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, as does Chaikin, also appear in Stefan Fatsis's book Word Freak. Fatsis and Chaikin are both tournament Scrabble players themselves.[3]


  • E Wolf & the Moneylenders - "Paralyzed" (Written by Chalkin & Haber)
  • Your Mom - "The One" (Written by Your Mom)
  • The Minutemen - "Do You Want New Wave (Or Do You Want the Truth)" (Written by Mike Watt)
  • The Minutemen - "The Glory of Man" (Written by Mike Watt)
  • Andrew Chaikin & Austin Willacy - "Across the Universe" (Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney)
  • Joel Sherman - "Across the Universe" (Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney)


  1. ^ AP via MSNBC "Film profiles the culture of Scrabble" August 16, 2004
  2. ^ USA Today "Sundance announces portion of 2004 lineup" 2 December 2003
  3. ^ The Washington Times "Fightin' words spur vivid documentary" page M24 accessed via Ebbsco's Australia New Zealand Reference Centre 20 June 2007

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