MLA Film Citation
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How to cite a film in a bibliography using MLA
The most basic MLA entry for a film citation consists of the movie title, director, production company, and release date. You may also choose to include other contributors, such as the writer(s), performer(s), and producer(s) if they are relevant to your assignment’s discussion. You may also include the film’s original release date if you’re citing a new release or special edition.
Film Title. Directed by First Name Last Name, Production Company, Release Date.
BibMe: The Movie. Directed by John Smith, Columbia Pictures, 2009.
Foreign Language Film with Translated Title:
Begin the film citation entry with the film’s title in italics, followed by a period. If the film is dubbed in English, begin by including the English title, followed by the translated title in square brackets.
BibMe: The Movie [BibMe: La Película]. Directed by John Smith, Columbia Pictures, 2009.
Cite the director’s name after the movie title by writing “Directed by” with the director’s first and last name in normal order.
Film with Other Contributors:
If relevant, you may also choose to include the names of other key contributors in the author element, including writer(s), performer(s), and/or producer(s). Group different types of personnel together and separate each personnel group by a period. Write these personnel names in normal order – do not reverse the first and last names. Write these additional contributions according to the role of the person or group. For instance, “produced by,” “screenplay by,” or “performance by.” If you can’t describe the role using a phrase with “by,” include the role using a noun or noun phrase. Use commas to separate the name of the person (in normal order) from their role (Larry David, general editor).
BibMe: The Movie. Directed by John Smith, performances by Mike Jones and Jim Jones. Columbia Pictures, 2009.
If you would like to emphasize the contributions of a specific person because you focus on their role or contribution, include their role and name with contributors, not with authors. If you include the author, in the case of film, the director and their name, you style the entry as shown above. However, if you omit the director role and name, you start the film citation as above with the film title, followed by a period, and instead of a director, include the role and name of another contributor. For example, “Performances by Sharon Stone and Meryl Streep. List the film’s distribution company, followed by a comma, the year released, and a period.
BibMe: The Movie. Performances by Sharon Stone and Meryl Streep, Columbia Pictures, 2009.
Film with Alternate Original Release Date:
If the film’s original year of release differs from the year of release for the copy of the film you viewed, include the original year of release after film title, and place the year of release for the copy of the film you viewed after the film’s distribution company at the end of the entry. Usually, when citing a film with an original release date and a new release date, there has been a special update. You may also include details in the version element, such as “Director’s cut” or “Digitally enhanced edition.” Include those details after the original release date.
BibMe: The Movie. 2007. Director’s cut, Columbia, 2009.
Film Viewed on an App or Website:
If you viewed the film on an app or a website, include specific location details if it will help readers locate the specific copy you viewed. Capitalize and italicize the app or site name.
BibMe: The Slide Program. Columbia Pictures, 2009. Netflix app.
BibMe: The Slide Program. Columbia Pictures, 2009. Netflix, www.netflix.com.
If you viewed the film in person in a theater, cite the film without any additional format or location details.
Film Viewed on Physical Media:
If you viewed the film on physical media, such as a DVD, follow the release date with a comma and a disc number, followed by a period. End the entry with “DVD.”
BibMe: The Movie. 2007. Director’s cut, Columbia, 2009, disc 1. DVD.
If there is no disc number, simply include “DVD.”
BibMe: The Movie. 2007. Director’s cut, Columbia, 2009. DVD.
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