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 new 2019 competition theme, "What does it mean to be American? Choose a constitutional right, national characteristic, or historic event and explain how it defines the American experience."
With cash prizes totaling $100,000, C-SPAN awards prizes to 150 student documentaries, and over 50 teacher advisors.
“WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AMERICAN?”
Your video should evaluate how this right, characteristic or event is upheld in our society, or challenged by current events. Rights or characteristics may include aspects of democracy, opportunity, liberty, justice, equality, diversity, unity, individualism, other rights, guiding principles, or shared values.
Choose a constitutional right, national characteristic, or historic event and explain how it defines the American experience.
Click here for a printable Student Checklist (Google Doc)
- 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. 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.
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 advisor (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 Sunday, January 20.
Key dates, including the submission deadline and the announcement of winning videos.
- November 1, 2018 - January 20, 2019
Students may upload their documentary and submit their Entry Form online through StudentCam.org.
- Sunday, January 20, 2019
All eligible entries must be submitted by midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST) at the end of the day on Sunday, January 20.
- Wednesday, March 13, 2019
The winning entries from the 2019 StudentCam competition will be announced.