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Opportunity for USA, Canada, and International Students
to Participate in a Student Documentary Competition

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 


Deadline Date:

01/20/20 Midnight PST


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Opportunity for USA, Canada, and International students in grades six through twelve to participate in a documentary competition. Students create a documentary video, five to six minutes in length, about significant issues that they would like presidential candidates to address in their campaign. Students may enter the competition individually, or work in teams of either two or three members. Winners receive cash prizes ranging between $250 and $5,000.

StudentCam Theme - "What's Your Vision in 2020?"

Students should explore the issue they most want presidential candidates to address during the campaign and videos should analyze the current or historical significance of the chosen issue and include differing points of view.

Grades 6-8 compete in the Middle School category, and grades 9-12 compete in the High School category. 

The documentary must include the following five elements:

  • A complete exploration of the chosen topic
  • Inclusion of C-SPAN programming relating to the documentary's topic (using several short clips is recommended)
  • A balanced presentation of varying viewpoints (interviewing experts and elected officials about the chosen topic is recommended)
  • Adherence to the time limit of 5 to 6 minutes. (End credits, if applicable, must begin after the 5-minute mark but are permitted to run longer than the allotted 6-minute time frame)
  • Credits at the end of the documentary or a works cited list

The documentary may include, but is not required to include:

  • Additional video pertaining to your topic (B-roll footage)
  • Music (preferably copyright free music)
  • Graphics
  • Diagrams
  • Still images
  • Narration (Note: If narrating the documentary, students must write their own script to avoid plagiarism. Online or print sources can be used, but students have to put any information they use in their own words.)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 149468

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

C-SPAN awards prizes to 150 student documentaries, and over 50 teacher advisors. Those who create behind-the-scenes footage of their StudentCam documentary will also be eligible to win one of five prizes.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grand Prize (1 award) to the best overall entry in either High School or Middle School:
- Students: $5,000 cash prize award
- Teacher/School: $750 cash prize award

First prize: 4 awards total (3 in the high school category - one for each region - and one in the Middle School category)
- Students: $3,000 cash prize awarded per entry
- Teachers/School: $500 cash prize award

Second Prize - 16 awards total (12 in the High School category - 4 in each region - and 4 in the Middle School category:
- Students: $1,500 cash prize award per entry
- Teachers/Schools: $250 cash prize award

3rd PRIZE: 32 awards total - 24 in the High School category (8 x HS West Region, 8 x HS Central Region, 8 x HS East Region), and 8 in the Middle School category:
- Student(s): $750 cash prize award per entry
- Teachers/Schools: $125 cash prize award

Honorable Mention: 97 awards total - awarded to entries from either the High School or Middle School category.
- Student(s): $250 cash prize award per entry

C-SPAN will also select and award 5 teams who will each receive a $100 cash prize if they submit a "Behind the Scenes" photo from the production of their documentary.

C-SPAN also reserves the right to award a "Fan Favorite" - a secondary prize awarded 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.

All students with winning videos will receive a certificate of recognition and may be placed on C-SPAN's StudentCam Winners page.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Prizes are awarded in two separate categories: Middle School & High School. Entries are welcome from students in the U.S. territories. Entries from international students who are in the equivalent of U.S. grades 6-12 are also accepted.

High School entries are judged regionally in one of 3 Regions (West/Central/East), based on their school's state. Students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be judged as part of the East division, and students from American Samoa and Guam will be judged as part of the West division. C-SPAN also reserves the right to award international entries at their discretion.

Entries from high school students in Asia-Pacific regions will be judged against the High School-West division entries, high school students in European and African countries will be judged against High School-East division entries, and high school students in South and Central America will be judged against High School-Central division entries.

Middle School entries are judged nationally against their peers. Any international entries from middle school students will be judged against all middle school entries received in the competition.

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.

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 advisor in order to participate. If a teacher acts as an advisor, his or her name must be listed on the student's Entry Form in order for them to be eligible for the StudentCam advisor cash prize.

Educators are not required to be faculty advisors. The StudentCam competition can be introduced as a project to be completed outside of class or submitted independent of the classroom.

Pre-Application Information:

Once students have completed their video, they must first upload it to either YouTube or Google Drive. Then the link should be copied and pasted to view the video when submitting the Entry Form found on the StudentCam homepage.

The form is available from November 2019 through the deadline on January 20, 2020. Entries must be uploaded by midnight Pacific Standard Time at the end of the day on January 20, 2020.

Prize recipients will be announced on C-SPAN and on on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Winning students will be notified via phone or email.

Competition Rules:
C-SPAN video:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Phone: 1-800-523-7586.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.