2024 SEVA Contest details to be announced in fall of 2023!
2023 SEVA Contest
Open to all students in the Sacramento Region (K-20), the Student Educational Video Awards (SEVA) contest celebrates the talents and visions of student video producers. The SEVAs are coordinated by the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium (SECC) and sponsored in-part by Comcast and the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission. The contest is free to enter for all Sacramento County schools, outside school districts may enter for a fee of $10.
Defining 2022: Put the “Me” in Media
This year, Defining 2022 Recognition will be given to students who strive to put the “me” in media. Go beyond the “selfie” and create a video self-portrait that tells your story. Share a message that is close to you or highlight an important part of your life. Put an educational spin on the idea of an “influencer” or put your own twist on a social media trend.
To be considered for this recognition, make sure to include a short explanation on the entry form addressing why your video should be considered for Defining 2022 Recognition. This should be 3-4 sentences explaining: How you are using media to represent yourself and show the world what is important to you? What makes you a creator of media instead of just a consumer?
- How to Enter
- Grade Levels
- Judging Rubrics
- Copyright Info
- Tech Requirements
- Release Form
- Upload Files
- Get Help
Step 1: Create your video and have all of your talent and producers sign release forms either via document download or digital sign. If using the digital release form, make sure to have your talent send you a copy of their completed form to include with your entry.
Step 2: Caption your video and download your .SRT or .SBV file to submit with your entry.
Step 3: Complete the SEVA Entry Form, being sure to check your spelling, proper capitalization and punctuation.
[The contest is free for Sacramento County schools. Nevada, Placer, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba County schools are welcome to enter for $10 per entry.]
Step 4: Once you submit your entry form, your teacher will receive an email confirmation.
Step 5: Your teacher will need to provide digital confirmation that your entry packet is complete.
Step 6: You will receive an upload link after you complete your entry. Upload your completed SEVA entry packet including all of the items listed below to the SEVA Dropbox Upload area that is listed in the confirmation email by Wednesday, March 1 2023 at 7PM. You may also drop-off your paperwork to the SECC Office by the entry deadline.
• Completed 2023 SEVA Entry Form
• Producer Release PDF | Digital Sign
• Talent Release PDF | Digital Sign
• Documented Proof of Copyright Information / Licensing Permissions (Sample)
• Captioning File (.SRT or .SBV)
• Media (YouTube Link or USB drive)
• Email confirmation from your teacher to verify your entry is complete
Step 7: Last step! Celebrate SEVA Award Night.
Note: In fairness to all – LATE ENTRIES OR PAPERWORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED – NO EXCEPTIONS.
This category includes productions that may contain fictional content, humor, animation, book trailers, music videos or any program that has an educational message and does not fit into the other four categories. [Creative Expression Examples]
An in-depth educational study of any program length about classroom curriculum topics, issues or people in current events or history. [Documentary Examples]
Provides “how to” advice or teaches a subject or skill related to an educational topic. [Instructional Examples]
Public Service Announcements (PSA)
A :30 (+/- :01) promotional piece about an educational topic or community concern. Credits are not included in the 30 seconds. [PSA Examples]
Campus news stories, full broadcasts or coverage of a school event. Please note: School Newscast & News Story are separated for the entry process. They will be judged with separate rubrics, but they will compete against each other in the overall “School News” category. [School News Examples]
Rubrics for 2023
Creative Expression Rubric: Google Sheet | PDF
Documentary Rubric: Google Sheet | PDF
Instructional Rubric: Google Sheet | PDF
Public Service Announcement Rubric: Google Sheet | PDF
School Newscast: Google Sheet | PDF
School News Story: Google Sheet | PDF
The Google Sheet rubrics are view only documents. To modify a rubric, you can go to File > Make a copy and save it to your Google account to customize the document.
Closed Captioning Requirement
In an effort to be fully inclusive of all viewers, SEVA requires producers to close caption their entry and submit the captioning file (.SRT) with their entry data. This will allow all viewers to fully understand your video, regardless of a linguistic barrier or hearing impairment. The captioning process is quick and free through the captioning tools on YouTube.
Releases & Copyright
Since the SEVAs are cablecast on television and presented online, entries must contain only originally produced video, graphics, images, animation, music and sound. If you include any copyrighted materials, your entry MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY PERMISSION WAIVERS from the copyright holder to include those in your SEVA video or Creative Commons Licensing obtained from their sources. ALL VIDEO, PHOTOS & MUSIC MUST BE ORIGINAL or proof of permission to use the copyrighted elements must be provided. Videos that contain unauthorized copyrighted elements will be disqualified from the contest. SECC’s policy may be different than your school/district policy.
It’s a Student Video Contest
Students must produce their videos with MINIMAL parental and teacher involvement. Any indication that major amounts of the video were produced by adults and not the student will result in the video being disqualified from the contest.
Judges reserve the right to not award a SEVA in any category or to disqualify an entry that doesn’t follow the SEVA rules (such as incomplete releases, copyright infringement, late entry, excessive teacher/parent involvement). Each year, we have disappointed students and teachers due to this rule. Please double check your entry form and video to assure compliance.
In an effort to be fully inclusive of all viewers, SEVA requires producers to close caption their entry and submit the captioning file (.SRT or .SBV) with their entry data. This will allow all viewers to fully understand your video, regardless of a linguistic barrier or hearing impairment. The captioning policy applies all videos that contain any audio. Even if your video doesn’t include any spoken dialogue you should still include a captioning file.
A captioning file contains a simple, timecoded transcript of your video which can be viewed with a basic text editing program. Your finished captioning file will look something like this:
00:00:00,100 –> 00:00:03,100
– The Student Educational
Video Awards is the contest
00:00:03,100 –> 00:00:05,620
to showcase your educational
The captioning process is quick and free through the captioning tools on YouTube. We’ve created a short instructional video to explain the process: Closed Captioning with YouTube. You can also view the instructions in handout form.
SEVA Entries Must Use Only Copyright-Free Materials
If you include any elements (video, photos, graphics and/or music) not created by you, your entry MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY PERMISSION WAIVERS from the copyright holder or provide Creative Commons Licensing obtained from their sources that allow for the use of their content on YouTube and on TV. Entries that contain unauthorized copyrighted elements will be disqualified from the contest. SECC’s policy may be different than your school/district policy. For SEVA, SECC policies apply since entries are cablecast on television and presented online.
If you would like to request permission to use copyrighted materials in your video, SECC has created sample letter you can send to the copyright holder. You can download the letter and modify to suit your individual needs. As permissions can take some time to obtain, please plan accordingly as all waivers must be submitted by the entry deadline.
Several music providers require a paid license for playback on cable TV (BenSound, Freeplay Music, Epidemic Sound, AudioJungle, Purple Planet and others). NCS, No Copyright Sounds and Youtube Music Library tracks are not allowed in the SEVAs.
Approved Free Music Sources:
Student-Created Music (GarageBand or similar)
Incompetech Creative Commons (must credit this source)
Not sure? Ask us PRIOR to entering the contest.
Please be aware that in addition to its cable channels, SECC utilizes YouTube for sharing videos online. Any audio/visual content that receives a YouTube Content ID claim is subject to SECC action, including audio muting, video editing, censoring/visual blurring and/or removal from SECC YouTube channel. For more information about YouTube Content ID, visit YouTube Help.
The SEVAs highly encourage student producers to shoot their own footage. You can include stock footage (for example – WeVideo stock footage) in your entry, but if a significant part of your video is stock footage, you will only not be able to earn any of the points in the “Shot Quality” portion of the judging rubric. Please note: historical footage or footage from government archives will not count as stock footage.
Video Game Footage
Licensing terms may vary from game to game, so it is important for producers to carefully read the license for each game. While one video game may allow for the capture and sharing of user-generated screen captures, another might not. Please include the written proof of the copyright policy such as an excerpt from the licensing terms.
Cite Your Sources & Secure Permission for Images & Videos
Many SEVA entries include facts and information about a particular topic. Whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source. During your show or in the credits, be sure to cite where your information came from, just as you would do a bibliography for a paper. If you use images or videos that you did not shoot yourself, you need to get written permission from the copyright holder to include those in your SEVA video.
All video, photos, graphics and music must be original or proof of permission to use the copyrighted elements must be provided prior to the entry deadline.
SEVA entries can be submitted in several different ways:
+ Youtube Link (preferred)
+ Quicktime digital file (.MP4) on a USB drive. Please be sure to name your file the same as your entry name.
+ Captioning File (.SRT or .SBV) on a USB drive or upload with your entry information. Please be sure to name your .SRT or .SBV file the same as your video entry name.
+ File Format: Quicktime (.MP4)
+ Video Compression: .H264
+ Acceptable frame sizes: 1920×1080
+ Frame Rate: 29.97 fps (Important!)
+ Target Bit Rate: 5.00+ Mbps
+ Audio Compression: AAC or Uncompressed
+ Audio Quality: 320 kbps, 48 kHz, Stereo or Mono
+ File Naming Convention: Make sure your file name matches the name of your video
Be sure to check your file prior to submission to make sure it’s the best possible quality and plays properly. Videos can be submitted in languages other than English, but must contain English subtitles.
USB drives will be returned with the judging reports at Award Night.
Talent & Producer Releases
As a producer, you need to have the permission of each person in your video. Get your talent (and their parents if under 18) to sign releases before you start shooting so that you know they can be in your video. As producer, you will also need to have a release signed. There is a digital talent release and a downloadable PDF talent release available. If using the digital release form, make sure to have your talent send you a copy of their completed form to include with your entry.
Talent / Producer Release Form PDF Download
Talent / Producer Release Form Digital Sign Link
Talent / Producer Release Form PDF in Spanish
After you have completed the online entry form, you will be emailed an upload link to upload all of your materials – including releases and captioning file – via our Dropbox File Upload link. All material, including releases and captioning need to be submitted by the deadline. Please be sure to name all your files with the exact program title you entered.
Learn more about how you can record your Official Student Producer Interview.
- Access the SEVA 2023 Entry Checklist: Google Drive | PDF
- Use the SEVA 2023 Entry Form Worksheet: Google Drive | PDF
- Request permissions using the Sample SEVA Clearance Letter.
- Get individual SEVA Resources.
- Learn how to capture your Official SEVA Producer Interview.
- Still stuck? Reach out via email.