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Student Documentary Competition

Posted on Dec 30, 2012 by in Challenge, Featured, January, Technology


What is StudentCam?

StudentCam is C-SPAN's annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think seriously about issues that affect our communities and our nation. This year students are asked to create a short (5-8 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the competition theme listed below. For those of you choosing to do the StudentCam competition, you may do this on your own or with one or two other students of your choosing. The videos are due to be submitted to C-SPAN by midnight on January 18, and I would like a copy turned into me by Jan 16. If your film is not submitted to CSPAN on time, you will not get credit for the project. **Videos larger than 800mb will not upload to C-SPAN. Use this Rubric to get you powered. There isn't much TIME!


2013 StudentCam Theme

“Message to the President”
What’s the most important issue the president should consider in 2013?


Competition Requirements

  • The 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.
  • Students may compete individually, or in teams of either 2 or 3 members.
  • All documentaries must contain a small amount of supporting C-SPAN footage that relates to the chosen topic.Downloadable C-SPAN footage can be found here.
  • C-SPAN’s philosophy is to show varying sides of each issue. Winning StudentCam documentaries will also show varying sides related to the chosen topic.
  • Documentaries must be between 5-8 minutes. End credits, if applicable, may run longer than the 8 minute time frame.
  • Entries must contain either end credits or a works cited list. A works cited list may be emailed to
  • All documentaries must be uploaded and received at 
    C-SPAN by midnight on Friday, January 18, 2013.

For a complete list of competition rules, click here.

Judges have made the following comments regarding their assessments of the videos:
    * Students should try to appear in their video, if appropriate.
* Show varying opinions about your topic.
* Shoot your own B-roll video. An example of B-roll footage includes pictures of medical research labs 
from last year’s Grand Prize winning video, "Cancer: It's Personal". If you can't shoot your own 
B-roll video, the StudentCam Facebook page is a great resource for video you may use.
    * Explain any graphs or graphics that appear in your documentary.
Watch the C-Span: Racial Profiling example below:

C-SPAN STUDENT CAM : Racial Profiling from Emma Theis on Vimeo.