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.

For the 2021/2022 school year, we are asking students in grades 6-12 to create a short (5-6 minute) video documentary on a topic that relates to the competition theme, "How does the federal government impact your life?"

The submission deadline for all entries will be Thursday, January 20, 2022. With cash prizes totaling $100,000 each year, C-SPAN awards prizes to the top 150 student documentaries. If you are a teacher and listed as an adviser on one of the top 50 winning films, you will also receive a cash award. Since 2004, C-SPAN has awarded over $1.2 million dollars in cash prizes to students and teachers.

"How does the federal government impact your life?"

Explore a federal policy or program that has an impact on you or your community. Evaluate the effectiveness of this policy or program by researching multiple perspectives on it.

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.

Don't forget to check out the incredible work of our 2021 StudentCam competition winners!

For the 2021 competition, students were asked to create a short documentary on the theme:

"Explore the issue you most want the president and new Congress to address in 2021"
Students were asked to analyze the current and/or historical significance of their chosen issue, and include differing points of view.

Click the link below for a complete list of all 150 winning entries.

C-SPAN StudentCam 2021 Prize Winners

Thank you to all who participated and we hope those with remaining eligibility will consider participating in our 2022 competition.

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 Thursday, January 20.

Key dates, including the 2022 submission deadline and announcement of winners.

  • January 20, 2022
    All eligible documentaries in the 2022 StudentCam competition must be uploaded by the end of the day on Thursday, January 20, 2022.

  • March 16, 2022
    The announcement of the 150 prize-winning entries.

  • April 1 - April 20, 2022
    C-SPAN will air the top 20 winning entries each day on C-SPAN