Austin (KXAN) — A 16-year-old Austin student wins national award for documentary film.
Carson Collins recently won top honors at C-SPAN’s 2023 StudentCam National Convention.
Nearly 3,000 students from 40 states participated in project-based learning experiences.
Ultimately, Collins took home the title with his documentary Risky Purchase: CCP Ownership of US Land.
The winning prize includes a $3,000 check, which he uses for future projects.
“We spent some of that on new camera equipment and new editing equipment,” says Collins. “I’m considering starting my own video production business.”
Last year, homeschooled students placed 3rd in the C-SPAN competition.
The win meant even more for Collins after three months working on this year’s film.
“It’s been very rewarding to see the changes we’ve learned and initiated from last year’s video,” he explained. “With this video, we tried to adhere to the rubric and better adhere to what the judges were looking for.”
Now in its 19th year, the national conference gives students the opportunity to explore multiple perspectives on topics that matter to them and consider solutions to address them.
“This year, we asked our students to boldly step into their roles as newly elected members of Congress,” said Pam McGorry, Senior Specialist for C-SPAN Educational Programs.
Collins’ film dealt with the tricky topic of outlining US land ownership by entities affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party.
“I thought I could do something about the Chinese Communist Party and how they influence the United States.
Playing alone and against groups of up to three students, Collins’ documentary included interviews with Texas Congressman Chip Roy and Texas Public Policy Foundation Chief National Initiatives Officer Chuck DeVore.
“It’s a difficult topic to tackle as a group, but doing it on his own was really impressive.
In 2021, Collins taught himself how to edit and shoot after hearing about this C-SPAN competition.
Just two years later he won it all.
Collins is also dual enrolled at Austin Community College and holds degrees in Radio, Television and Film.
“I want to go to the United States Naval Academy, spend a few years in the military, and then build a career in video production,” he concluded.
The Collins documentary airs all day on Thursdays at 5:50 am on C-SPAN.
This film can also be seen in the StudentCam contest website.
https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/austin-student-wins-c-span-documentary-competition/ 16-Year-Old Texas Boy Wins C-SPAN Documentary Competition