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Film Studies

film studies research guide; used mainly for the study of film

Citations and Copyright

Film citations should always include the following information about the film: title, director, distributor, year of release, and the format or medium on which you watched the film (if you watched the film at a theater or are not sure of the medium - it is ok to just use "film" here).

Some things to note:  

  • When you list the distributor of the film (which could be the studio or another distributor depending on the version or release of the film you've viewed - make sure that the year you list correctly corresponds. For example, if the original release year of the film is 2010 but you watched a DVD director's cut that was released in 2016, you should put the original release date after the director and the date of the one you watched after the distributor. 
  • Your citation could also include the names of the writer, principal performer(s), and producer.

Citing Streaming Video

For videos from websites such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Vimeo, credit the person who posted the content. If a real name is provided, use it. If the real name of the person who posted the content is not known, use their user name.

(Meredith Wisner, Barnard College)

When writing a thesis

Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Statement of Fair Use Best Practices for Media Studies Publishing

By: Society for Cinema and Media Studies

This Statement of Best Practices identifies what media scholars consider to be fair use of copyrighted works within media studies publishing in the United States. It provides a reference for media scholars to follow when considering whether or not their inclusion of media in a publication meets the standards of fair use. In 1993, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (then the Society for Cinema Studies) issued a similar statement making the fair use argument for the scholarly use of film stills in publications. This document updates the 1993 statement to account for changes in media publishing and in copyright fair use analysis.