Films have become a strong medium for communicating stories, commentary, emotion, research, art, and many other subjects in a creative way. This medium has seen marked growth in both the number of titles offered and the number of distributors or service providers (e.g. Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go, etc.). In addition, technology has evolved to allow every individual to be their own “filmmaker” and record videos that can be shared online, whether it be via YouTube, Vine, Instagram, etc.
This guide describes how to cite three different types of films and videos:
- Films and videos found on a website
- Films and videos found on a database
- Films and videos not viewed online
To cite a film or video in MLA 8, locate the following pieces of information:
The name of the creator of the film or video
The title of the film or video
The title of the site that the video was found on
The names of any contributors, such as a director or performer
*The version (if applicable)
Any numbers associated with the video
The publication date
The name of the database (if applicable)
*The location (usually a URL)
On versions: Versions can include an uncut version, unrated version, widescreen, etc.
On URLs: It is strongly recommended to include the URL in the citation. Even though web pages and URLs can be taken down or changed, it is still possible to learn about the source from the information seen in the URL.
When including URLs in a citation, omit http:// and https:// from the website’s address.
When creating a citation that will be read on a digital device, it is helpful to make the URL clickable so that readers can directly access the source themselves.
How to Cite a Film or Video Found on a Website in MLA 8:
To cite a film or video found on a website, use the following structure:
Last name, First name of the creator. “Title of the film or video.” Title of the website, role of contributors and their First name Last name, Version, Numbers, Publisher, Publication date, URL.
Examples of MLA 8 citations for films or videos found on a website:
RotoBaller. “RotoBaller MLB: Top Fantasy Baseball Catcher Dynasty League Prospects for 2016.” YouTube, commentary by Raphael Rabe, 27 Mar. 2016, youtu.be/gK645_7TA6c.
“Lunch Hour NYC: Hot Dog Carts.” New York Public Library, 5 July 2012, www.nypl.org/audiovideo/hot-dog.
How to Cite a Film or Video Found on a Database in MLA 8:
Use this citation structure if citing a film or video found on a database, such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or HBO Go.
Last name, First name of the creator. Title of the film or video. Role of contributors and their First name Last name, Version, Numbers, Publisher, Publication date. Database name, url.
Examples of MLA 8 citations for Films and Videos Found on a Databases:
Kindergarten Cop. Directed by Ivan Reitman, performance by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Universal Pictures, 21 Dec. 1990. Amazon Prime, www.amazon.com/Kindergarten-Cop-Arnold-Schwarzenegger/dp/B001VLLES4.
How to Cite a Film or Video Not Viewed Online in MLA 8:
Structure of a citation for a film or video not viewed online:
Last name, First name of the creator. Title of the film or video. Role of other contributors and their First name Last name, Version, Numbers, Publisher, Publication date.
Example of an MLA 8 citation for films and videos not viewed online:
The Little Mermaid. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, Walt Disney Pictures, 17 Nov. 1989.
In citing film and other media, use the citation form for the format in which you watched the work being cited. For example:
You may include other data that seem pertinent, such as writer of screenplay or writer of work upon which the film is based, depending on the focus of your research.
Citizen Kane. Dir. Orson Welles. Perfs. Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten. RKO Radio Pictures, 1941.
Fahrenheit 9/11. Dir. Michael Moore. Lions Gate Films, 2006.
Kazan, Elia, dir. On the Waterfront. Perfs. Marlon Brando, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint. Columbia Pictures Corporation, 1954.
Karloff, Boris, perf. Frankenstein. Dir. James Whale. Perfs. Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Mae Clark. Universal Pictures, 1931.
Gore, Al, perf. An Inconvenient Truth. Dir. Davis Guggenheim. Lawrence Bender Productions, 2006.
Rozsa, Miklos, comp. Spellbound. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Perfs. Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck. United Artists, 1945.
Breathless (À Bout de Souffle). Dir. Jean-Luc Godard. Perfs. Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Liliane David. 1960. DVD. Criterion Collection, 2007.
Frankenstein. Dir. James Whale. Perfs. Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Mae Clark. 1931. DVD. Universal Pictures, 2006.
Metropolis. Dir. Fritz Lang. Perfs. Gustav Fröhlich, Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel. 1926. DVD. Restored authorized edition; digitally remastered. Kino International Corporation, 2002.
Capote, Truman. "A Christmas Memory." Hallmark Hall of Fame. Dir. Glenn Jordan. Perf. Patty Duke, Piper Laurie, Jeffrey DeMunn. 1997. DVD. Lions Gate, 2000.
Single Performance, Music Videos, and Other Single Work as part of longer DVD, Video, or Film
- or, if emphasizing issuing agency:
- US Office of War Information. "Official War Film W.F. 13." World War II Films. 1943. DVD. Earthstation1.com, 2007.
or, if emphasizing the performers:
Television and Radio
- Include the following elements in the following order.
- Title of episode or segment (if appropriate. In quotes)
- Title of program (italics)
- Title of series (if appropriate. No quotes or underline)
- Producer, Director, Performers, Writer (if known. Inclusion and order depends on emphasis)
- Local Affiliate and the city
- Date of Broadcast
- Title of program (italics)
Order and punctuation: