Akeelah and the Bee is a 2006 film written and directed by Doug Atchison. It tells the story of Akeelah Anderson, portrayed by Keke Palmer, an 11-year-old girl who participates in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, her mother, schoolmates, and also her coach, portrayed by Laurence Fishburne. It also explores issues of education in the black community. It has been given a PG rating from the MPAA for some language. The film was developed over a period of 10 years by Doug Atchison, the germ of the idea having started after his watching the Scripps National Spelling Bee of 1994 and combined with his experiences spent tutoring disadvantaged students in the area around the University of Southern California, where he attended film school.