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 (5-7 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the new 2017 competition theme, "Your Message To Washington: What is the most urgent issue for the new president and Congress to address in 2017?"

With cash prizes totaling $100,000, C-SPAN will award prizes to 150 student documentaries, and 53 teacher advisors.

What is the most urgent issue for the new president and Congress to address in 2017?

  • The competition is open to all students in grades 6-12. Grades 6-8 will compete in the Middle School category, and grades 9-12 will compete in the High School category.
  • Middle School students are to be judged nationally against their peers. High School students are to be judged regionally against their peers in one of 3 regions (West/Central/East), based on their school state.
  • Students may compete individually, or in teams of either 2 or 3 members.
  • All documentaries must include supporting C-SPAN video that relates 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.
  • Documentaries must be between 5-7 minutes in length .*End credits, if applicable, are permitted to run longer than the allotted 7 minute time frame.
  • Entries must include either end credits or a works cited list.
For a complete list of competition rules, click here.

Take us Behind-the-Scenes of your StudentCam documentary for your chance to win 1 of 5 - $100 cash prizes!

  • Share a photograph from the production of your StudentCam documentary on social media
  • Post to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat – upload your photo, tell us about it, and include the hashtag #CSPANStudentCam2017
  • Send an attached screengrab of your social media post along with the names of all team members and the name of your school to:
  • Must submit by the main competition deadline on January 20, 2017. 5 - $100 prizes to be awarded in March, 2017. To be eligible to win, you must also enter a documentary in StudentCam 2017 but your documentary does not have to be a winning video in order to win the "Behind the Scenes" prize
  • Limit 1 eligible photograph per team/documentary

Click here to complete the Entry Form for yourself, any teammates, and your teacher advisor (if applicable). Once you have completed the Entry Form and uploaded your video file, you will be emailed a link to view your video which you may then share with your friends, family, and teachers.

Key dates, including the announcement of the winners, and the launch of our 2017 StudentCam competition.

  • Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - Friday, January 20, 2017
    At any point between November 1, 2016 and January 20, 2017 you may submit your team Entry Form and upload your completed documentary video file.

  • Friday, January 20, 2017
    StudentCam 2017 competition deadline. All eligible entries must be uploaded and received by midnight (PST) at the end of the day on Friday, January 20, 2017.

  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017
    C-SPAN will announce the 150 winners of the 2017 StudentCam competition.