National Documentary Contest

The grand prize winner with the best overall entry will be awarded $5,000

WASHINGTON, DC (September 15, 2014) – The Frankfort Plant Board and C-SPAN are calling for entries in its 2015 StudentCam competition. Now in its eleventh year, C-SPAN’s national contest invites all middle school students (grades 6-8) and high school students (grades 9-12) to produce a five- to seven-minute video documentary using C-SPAN programming.

This year, students will have the opportunity to produce a documentary that focuses on “The Three Branches & You: Tell a story that demonstrates how a policy, law, or action by either the executive, legislative, or judicial branch has affected you or your community.”


The C-SPAN Education Foundation supports the contest by awarding 150 student and 53 teacher awards, totaling $100,000 in cash prizes. The grand prize winner with the best overall entry will be awarded $5,000, with multiple cash prize awards of $3,000, $1,500, $750, $500, and $250 to students in both middle and high school categories. 


High school students will be competing on a regional level with the U.S. divided into three regions. Middle school students will continue to be judged on a national basis. The grand prize winner will be chosen nationally between all middle and high school entries. The specific breakdown of regions and rules can be found at

“Teachers often share how StudentCam participation increases their students’ critical thinking, storytelling skills, and public presentation abilities. We’re optimistic that this year’s theme continues the tradition, offering students an opportunity to explore the role of the Federal government, through this project-based learning experience,” says C-SPAN Manager of Education Relations, Craig McAndrew.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Frankfort area students to participate StudentCam 2015. Local students see State Government up-close but producing their own documentary on how one of the three federal branches affects them, will be an interesting challenge for our students” says Frankfort Plant Board Assistant GM – Cable/Telecom, John Higginbotham.  

Competition Guidelines

Entries must represent varying points of view, and include C-SPAN video that supports the documentary’s topic. Students, working alone or in groups of up to three, can upload their entry form and videos directly online at Documentaries must be the original work of students; however, teachers may provide guidance and critiques.

The documentaries will be judged by a panel of C-SPAN representatives and educators, and evaluated on a number of criteria, including the thoughtful examination of the competition’s theme, quality of expression, adherence to the time limit, inclusion of varying points of view, and use of C-SPAN programming.

The deadline for entries is Tuesday, January 20, 2015. Winners will be announced in March 2015, with the top winning videos to air on C-SPAN in April 2015. Complete competition details and the entry form are available at the competition’s website,