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.

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

  • Wednesday, September 14, 2016
    The 2017 StudentCam competition officially launched.

  • Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - Friday, January 20, 2017
    When ready to submit their finished documentary, students may complete the Entry Form and upload their video files through the StudentCam website.

  • Friday, January 20, 2017
    All eligible documentaries must be uploaded by midnight PST at the end of the day on Friday, January 20.

  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017
    The 150 winning entries will be announced.