The competition is now closed to new entries and C-SPAN is judging the videos that were entered by our January 20 submission deadline.

Thank you to all of the teachers and students who participated in a year where there were challenges and adversity aplenty. We look forward to viewing your work and announcing the winning entries in March.

For those students who are under the age of 18 and haven't yet done so, please have a parent or guardian complete the Release Form that was emailed to you after you submitted your work.

If you have questions about the competition, please email us at

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.

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

  • Wednesday, September 9, 2020
    Official launch of the 2021 StudentCam 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.

  • Wednesday, March 10, 2021
    At 9am ET we will announce the 150 winning entries in the 2021 competition here on