Madison Central students win C-SPAN video documentary awards

Published: Mar. 25, 2019 at 6:59 PM CDT
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MADISON, MS (WLBT) - Madison Central High School get national recognition for making documentaries on the American experience.

Monday C-SPAN, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, rolled onto the campus to announce winners from the nationwide competition.

There was a special assembly aboard the C-SPAN bus Monday where future documentary filmmakers could be among Madison Central High students.

C-SPAN named seven student winners of national 2019 StudentCam competition.

Seven students won third place and honorable mention for video documentaries on what it means...
Seven students won third place and honorable mention for video documentaries on what it means to be American. Source: WLBT

Participants, grades 6th through 12th, created five to seven minute-long video documentaries.

The theme was, “What does it mean to be American?”

Students researched and presented pieces on a constitutional right, national characteristic, or historic event and explained how it defines the American experience.

Annie Thomas and Olivia Essary won third place and received $750.00 as prize winners.

“We just got grouped together and we decided to do the two party system because we knew everyone has a lot to say about that, and we’re really interested in it and, yeah, it was great. We learned a lot from this,” said Thomas.

“We felt that it could encompass a lot of different people in the school, because a lot of different people in our school have opinions on which view they take,” said Essary. “So we thought it would be the easiest to relate to.”

Jillian Russell and Luke North earned honorable mention and $250.00 for “America Through the Lens of Civil Rights.”

Elizabeth Barton, Vedanth Buddala and Tanbir Banipal received honorable mention and $250.00 for their documentary, “Freedom of Speech: The Voice of the American Experience.”

AP Language and Composition teacher Rebecca Temple came across the C-SPAN competition and used it to broaden her students’ curriculum.

“They fought a little bit with me as teenagers will do because it was unusual,” said Temple. “But as you can see, when I got the email from Shannon saying that we had three groups, I squealed for a bit. Then I couldn’t tell anybody.”

"Over the last 15 years, we've had the privilege of hearing viewpoints on a wide variety of issues directly from young filmmakers across the country," said C-SPAN's Manager of Education Relations Craig McAndrew. "This year, students clearly stepped up their approach to deliver thoughtful and diverse responses to our competition theme, which reflect enormous time and effort put into the research and construction of their documentaries."

More than 5,700 students across the country participated and plans are already underway for next year’s competition.

A total of $100,000 was awarded, including one grand prize winner, four first prize winners, 16 second prize winners, 32 third prize winners and 97 honorable mentions.

This is the competition’s 15th year. One million dollars in StudentCam prize money has been given to students.

The 150 winning videos can be viewed at

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