No More How to Cite A Movie Struggles

04 Apr 2015

When writing an academic paper, the proper text formatting is no less important than its semantic load. In particular, this concerns citations taken from cinematography pieces. Mistakes associated with these elements are the most common among college students. In today’s article, we will discuss in detail how to cite a movie, from the general citing algorithm to differences it has depending on formatting style.

Citing Movie Principles

Films citations along with regular citations are word-for-word excerpts from statements made by someone, brought for confirmation or explanation of one’s beliefs. APA movie citation, as well as this kind of referencing in general, as a rule, are accompanied by indications of their source. This provision is mandatory, for example, when quoting someone's words in academic work and such citations can be either stand-alone constructions, or represent direct or indirect speech.

Read also: How to write a movie review 

Citing Specifications

If we are talking about referring to video materials in academic paper, you might be curious how to cite a documentary. There are different ways you can cite it or any publisher or professor to determine proper formatting style. In academic milieu, MLA citation movie, Chicago, and APA styles are common. Next, you ought to format the movie citations used and provide references in alphabetical order.

Citing a film step-by-step

Below, we are going to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to format your movie citations using different styles including MLA, Chicago, ASA, and APA. Let us get started!

MLA Formatting Style

Here is how to cite a movie in MLA:

  • Start with listing full title of the film. Write the title in italics and place a period after the title.
  • Then, you need to mention name of the director using "Dir." abbreviation. Having done that, you then need to write the full name of director in the following order: name, patronymic (if applicable) and last name. Double-check if you have a period after last name.
  • List main actors. Write "Actors", and then list performers (First Name) by separating the names with a comma. Type a period in the end.
  • Use serial comma between the last two names of the actors, if there are more than two, and if you are writing for publication in US or any other country where a serial comma is applicable.
  • Write name of the film studio or distributor. Place a comma after name.
  • List release date of film. For example, "Twentieth Century Fox, 1965." Use a period after date.
  • Lastly, you ought to mention the type of edition of film. Typically, it is either a "Movie" or "DVD". Type a period in the end.

Read also: Date Punctuation: Major Rules & Secret Tricks

Chicago Formatting Style

Here is how to cite a movie in accordance with Chicago style generator rules:

  • Write full title of the movie in italics and end this line with period.
  • Write down name of the director. Specify it with "Director" word. Put a period in the end. Then, mention the film’s release year. Type a semicolon.
  • Add originating country. For example, "1987; Hollywood, California." Use a colon at the end.
  • Write name of production studio that released that movie. Put a semicolon.
  • Indicate the year of release. Place and period.
  • Finally, mention the feature release format. For example, it can be either a "DVD," or "Blu-Ray." Place a period.

APA Formatting Style

  • Start with putting down director's name using the following format: Last name, comma, initials. Write "Director" in brackets at the end.
  • The initials are separated by a period, after the brackets, check that you put a comma.
  • In American version, you need to write "&" ampersand, after "Director" and indicate name of director. Use the same format: surname, initials. Specify "Director" in parentheses after name, then specify the year.
  • Indicate the year in brackets. Then, add title in italics.
  • Specify video type in parentheses after the title. Put a period. For example, you can specify "Feature film," "Video," or "DVD."
  • Write film’s country of origin. Never abbreviate country names in APA. In the end, place a colon.
  • Lastly, list the name of the studio finishing with a period.

If you have difficulty following these instructions, there are APA citation generators, which can format your references in automatically. This is very convenient particularly if you are short on time.

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ASA Formatting Style

Here is how to cite a movie in ASA:

  • The ASA formatting style is simple enough and we will discuss it shortly.
  • The accepted style for citing a feature film in ASA is "Director. Year. Title. Studio." Here is an example: Doe, John. 1996. Urban Poverty: A Documentary in Teen's Voices. New Media Films."
  • The traditionally accepted style for citing a TV episode in ASA is "Director. Year it has originally aired. "Episode Title" Series Title. Production Company. Date aired when you saw it. Here is an example: Doe, John. 1999. "Teens in the Projects" The Evening News WPIX New Jersey. February 17, 2007.


Keep in mind that the above movie citation styles are intended for use having a bibliographic list or a list of citations attached to your paper. If you are struggling writing a paper incorporating movie citations, you can try out Edubirdie creative writing service. Also, your citing paper will be complete if you add powerpoint elements in your presentation.

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