STUDENTS: We're now around 2 months out from the competition submission deadline and we hope you are enjoying the process of planning, researching and piecing together your documentary. Don't forget that we are a resource for you too so if you have questions or need help with any aspect of the competition, please email us at and we'll respond promptly.

TEACHERS: For the 2024 competition, in honor of StudentCam's 20th anniversary, C-SPAN is offering an additional $50,000 in award money.

The first 500 teachers with qualifying student entries that meet each of the base competition requirements will automatically receive a $100 cash award. Teachers will also remain eligible for the additional cash prizes should their students win one of the top 50 prizes in the competition. For additional details, please read here.

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 we are celebrating our 20th anniversary of the competition and for 2024, 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, "Looking Forward while Considering the Past."

The submission deadline for all entries will be 11:59pm PST on Friday, January 19, 2024. With cash prizes totaling $100,000 each year, C-SPAN awards prizes to the student filmmakers of the top 150 student documentaries. And in honor of StudentCam's 20th anniversary this year, C-SPAN is offering an additional $50,000 in award money with the first 500 teacher advisers (with qualifying student entries) receiving a $100 cash award just for participating. For more information, visit our Prizes page.

Looking Forward while Considering the Past

Students, to mark C-SPAN StudentCam's 20th anniversary, pick one of the following prompts to address:

A) In the next 20 years, what is the most important change that you would like to see in America?
Detail a specific issue that is important to you and the evolution of related policies, laws, and actions that you want to see in the future.

- OR -

B) Over the past 20 years, what has been the most important change in America?
Examine a specific law, event, or invention, explain its impact and why you consider it important.

Click here for a printable Student Checklist (Google Doc)

  • This annual 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.

Congratulations again to all of the prize-winning student filmmakers in the 2023 StudentCam competition. Click the link below for a complete list of all 150 winning entries. 

C-SPAN StudentCam 2023 Prize Winners

Thank you again to all who participated and we hope those of you with remaining eligibility will consider participating in StudentCam 2024 - our 20th anniversary of the 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, 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 Friday, January 19.

Key dates, including the official competition launch date and submission deadline.

  • September 6, 2023
    The 2024 StudentCam competition launched.

  • January 19, 2024
    All eligible documentaries must be submitted by 11:59pm PST on Friday, January 19.

  • March 13, 2024
    C-SPAN will announce the 150 prize-winning documentaries at 9am on Wednesday, March 13.

  • April 1 - April 21, 2024
    C-SPAN will air each of the top 21 prize-winning documentaries throughout the day on C-SPAN Television Networks.