StudentCam Competition Rules

1. The entry should reflect this year’s theme:

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.

The entry must be the original work of the student(s), hereafter referred to as "entrant(s)."

2. This competition is open to entrants currently enrolled in middle or high school in any state in the United States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. International students in the equivalent of U.S. grades 6-12 and aged 18 years or younger may also participate. Students may be enrolled in public or private schools, or be home-schooled.

Students in grades 6-8 will be considered "middle school" entrants; grades 9-12 will be considered "high school" entrants.

3. The employees and officers of the National Cable Satellite Corporation and their immediate family members, and the Trustees of the C-SPAN Education Foundation and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate in the contest.

4. The documentary must be between 5:00 and 6:00 minutes in length. End credits, if applicable, must begin after the 5:00 minute mark but are permitted to run longer than the allotted 6:00 minute time frame.

5. Clips of topically-related C-SPAN programming must be used to enhance the video documentary. We suggest you choose to use multiple C-SPAN clips of supporting or opposing viewpoints throughout your documentary, but the use of C-SPAN video need not be excessive to the point that it detracts from your original production.

Winning StudentCam documentaries will also thoroughly explore a variety of viewpoints related to their chosen topic, including those that may oppose the filmmakers points of view. As a non-partisan television network, we recommend that students strive to demonstrate a balanced presentation of differing viewpoints.

6. Limited use of copyrighted material will be permitted in the entry so long as it is a lawful or "fair" use, and so long as such use does not overwhelm the original contribution of the student(s). Click here for an explanation from American University's Center for Media and Social Impact, describing "Documentary Filmmakers’ Best Practices in Fair Use."

7. Entrants must credit all non-C-SPAN video sources that are used to create the video documentary. These can be listed either in the end credits of the documentary, or in a separately submitted works-cited list. Your works cited list may be in the format of your choice and uploaded along with your Entry Form, or submitted via email to educate@c-span.org

8. Individuals or a team of up to 3 students may create and submit an entry. C-SPAN will recognize a maximum of 3 students per entry. A single entry that is created by more than 3 students will be disqualified from prize contention.

A student may submit only one entry, whether they are participating as an individual or in a group.

9. As a competition for middle and high school students, we expect entries to be free of profanity, gratuitous violence, gore and derogatory content. A good way to gauge what is acceptable would be to think of whether the completed documentary is something that teachers and school administration would be comfortable showing in a school setting with invited parents and guests.

10. School staff and faculty may provide guidance and critiques but may not participate in conceiving and producing the video. Students are not required to have a teacher adviser in order to participate. If a teacher acts as an adviser, his or her name must be listed on the student's Entry Form in order for them to be eligible for the StudentCam adviser cash prize.

11. Entries must be uploaded and submitted online. After uploading to your choice of video host such as Google Drive, YouTube, Dropbox or WeVideo, students must submit the link to their video via their completed online Entry Form, anytime through the end of the day on January 19, 2024.

12. All elegible entries must be successfully uploaded by 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time at the end of the day on January 19, 2024.

13. Middle School entries will be judged nationally against all of their peers from across the country. High School entries will be judged regionally against their peers in one of 3 Regions (West/Central/East), based on the state of the school that the student(s) attend. A map of the 3 High School regions can be found here.

14. Winning entries become the shared property of National Cable Satellite Corporation, d/b/a C-SPAN. Prize-winning entrants grant permission to C-SPAN to use their names, likenesses and videos for purposes related to the StudentCam competition and events such as school award ceremonies following the announcement of the winning entries. By submitting an entry, entrants (i) represent that their entries constitute original works of creativity that do not violate the property rights of any other person, and (ii) grant C-SPAN the right to televise, link to their video on studentcam.org, and publish it on our social media platforms if their video is selected as one of the 150 prize winners. Students retain all other rights and are free to independently publish their video on social media, host on other video platforms, and enter it in other video competitions or film festivals.

15. Prize recipients will be determined by judges selected by C-SPAN and the judges' decisions will be final. If a team's entry wins, C-SPAN will divide the prize money equally among the team members. Per IRS rules on reporting income, prize recipients who win cash prizes of a higher value than $600 will be asked to complete and return IRS From W-9, provide a social security number and will be responsible for any taxes associated with their prize. If a student who wins a cash prize higher than $600 does not provide their social security number, they will still be recognized as a winner but will not receive the prize money. C-SPAN reserves the right not to award all prizes in all categories; and C-SPAN reserves the right to not televise a winning video.

16. Prize recipients will be announced on C-SPAN and on StudentCam.org on March 13, 2024.

17. C-SPAN reserves the right to award a secondary prize of "Fan Favorite" to one of the top prize-winning entries (as determined by C-SPAN judges), based on the results of a period of online public voting.