There are just under 7 weeks left now for you to complete and submit your documentary for this year's competition.

When you are ready to upload, you can submit your video and complete the Entry Form here.

Looking for C-SPAN videos to download for use in your documentary? We're adding new clips each week on our C-SPAN Downloads page.

This week our intern Ella-Grace Rodriguez shares her newest tutorial with tips on how to approach setting up interviews for your documentary. To watch all of her video tips for students, check out our Getting Started page.

StudentCam is C-SPAN's annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and our nation.

This year students in grades 6-12 are asked to create a short (5-6 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the competition theme, "Explore the issue you most want the president and new Congress to address in 2021."

With cash prizes totaling $100,000 each year, C-SPAN awards prizes to the top 150 student documentaries, and over 50 teacher advisers. Since 2004, C-SPAN has awarded over $1 million dollars in cash prizes to past-winning students and teachers.

"Explore the issue you most want the president and new Congress to address in 2021"

Students are asked to analyze the current and/or historical significance of their chosen issue, and include differing points of view.

Click here for a printable Student Checklist (Google Doc)

  • The competition is open to all students in grades 6-12. Grades 6-8 compete in the Middle School category, and grades 9-12 compete in the High School category. For more information, visit our Prizes page.
  • Students may compete individually, or in teams of either 2 or 3 members.
  • Documentaries must include clips of supporting or opposing C-SPAN video that relate to the chosen topic.
  • Winning StudentCam documentaries will thoroughly explore a variety of viewpoints related to the chosen topic, including those that may oppose the filmmakers points of view. We recommend that you interview experts on your chosen subject.
  • Documentaries must be between 5-6 minutes in length. *End credits, if applicable, must begin after the 5-minute mark but are permitted to run longer than the allotted 6-minute time frame.
  • Entries must include either end credits or a works cited list. Students can use whichever format they currently use to cite their sources.
For the complete list of competition rules, click here.

When you have completed your documentary and you are ready to submit it for judging, click here to complete the Entry Form for yourself, any teammates, and your teacher adviser (if applicable).

If you are under the age of 18, beginning in December you will also be emailed a Release Form for your parent/guardian to review and provide their consent. The Release Form may be signed after the upload deadline on Wednesday, January 20.

Key dates, including the submission deadline and the announcement of winning videos.

  • Wednesday, September 9
    Official launch of the 2021 StudentCam competition.

  • Monday, November 2
    The Entry Form opens to early submissions for any students who have finished their video and who are ready to enter their work for prize contention in the 2021 competition.

  • Wednesday, January 20, 2021
    The upload and submission deadline for all entries in our 2021 competition. All eligible entries must be received by midnight PST at the end of the day on Wednesday, January 20.