Your Message to the President

What issue is most important to you or your community? Examine your selected topic from multiple perspectives and assess what action(s) the president should take after Inauguration Day.

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.

In this presidential election year, we're asking students in grades 6-12 to create a short (5-6 minute) video documentary on a topic that relates to the competition theme, "Your Message to the President."

The submission deadline for all entries is Inauguration Day on Monday, January 20, 2025.

C-SPAN awards cash prizes totaling $100,000 to the student filmmakers of the top 150 student documentaries.

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.

This past March, C-SPAN announced the prize-winning documentaries in StudentCam 2024 - our 20th anniversary of the competition.

We received entries from over 3,200 students representing 42 states, Washington, D.C., the Mariana Islands, Canada, and India.

Students were asked to address the theme: “Looking Forward while Considering the Past."

After evaluating each entry through multiple rounds of judging, C-SPAN is pleased to share the 150 prize-winning documentaries of StudentCam 2024, as well as the winners of the "Fan Favorite" award and our "Behind the Scenes" photo competition.

C-SPAN StudentCam 2024 Prize Winners

Thank you once again to all who participated in our 2024 competition.

We hope those of you with remaining eligibility will consider participating in StudentCam 2025!

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

  • June, 2024
    C-SPAN announced the new competition theme for the StudentCam 2025 competition.

  • Monday, January 20 2025
    All documentaries eligible to win prizes in the competition must be submitted by the end of the day on Monday, January 20.

  • March, 2025
    C-SPAN will announce the 150 prize-winning documentaries in mid-March, 2025.

  • April 1 - April 21, 2025
    Each day C-SPAN will air one of the top 21 prize-winning documentaries on C-SPAN Television Networks.