Slamdance Film Festival
Director: Nicole Teeny
Although the title may suggest a dull story about nerdy kids competing in Bible trivia, this film actually turns out to be more about teenage love. Filmed in a typical documentary fashion, with intimate interviews making up about half of the film, we get a glimpse into the life of Mikayla. She’s a seventeen year old who doesn’t even seem particularly obsessed with memorizing scriptures, but more interested her Bible quiz teammate JP. The director, Nicole Teeny, specifically focuses in on Mikayla’s life in the film, which allows you get a better understanding of why she, and other kids, takes part in Bible quizzes around the country. If there were no Mikayla, this film would be really boring, however, the director’s choice to focus on Mikayla is what makes this film something special. Unlike most of the kids in the film, who probably come from big families with strict, religious parents, MiKayla’s family life is a bit more complicated. Her mother is an alcoholic who is rarely home, and her dad doesn’t really care or support her interest in her bible studies. Because of this, she turns to her Bible quiz family to get attention and love. The film beautifully documents Mikayla and her team as they compete in regional tournaments in the state of Washington, as well as the national finals in Green Bay, Wisconsin. There are a lot of quirky and funny scenes, as you might expect from a documentary on a bunch of religious, nerdy kids, but the overall effect of this movie leaves a sincere message of the joys and struggles most teenagers go through.