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How to Cite a Film MLA?

If you require film citations for your projects the MLA style guide will help you with that. The 9th edition contains the latest rules on how to cite movies correctly in MLA format. In order to cite a film you should know its full title, director, production company, and date of release. For in-text referencing, indicate the timestamps of the cited fragment. Specifying the names of performers and producers is not obligatory, but if it’s relevant to your writing you can mention contributors. Citing a movie is not challenging if you know clear guidelines. With an MLA film citation generator, you should know all the details and insert them into the program for automatic citation generation. Read on and find all the essential information about MLA movie citations.

What is an MLA Film Citation?

MLA movie citation is using special rules to organize sources in your paperwork properly. You can use MLA format to make in-text citations and create a works-cited list. In-text citation: Every time you quote or paraphrase a film, you should cite the title and timestamps. The works-cited list at the end of your paper includes all sources you cited in alphabetical order.

The accepted formula for citing films in MLA format includes the film title, name of the director, production company, release date, and the URL if you use a film from online sources. For example, Ready Player One. Directed by Steven Spielberg, Warner Bros., 2018. Criterion. If you give a reference to a foreign film with a translated title, start the citation entry with the English title, followed by the translated title in square brackets.

If you want to mention other movie contributors in your citation, there are two options. You can simply mention them after the director in the citation or write them as the main reference source. Mentioning actors, you can write “performances by…”; writers — “screenplay by…”; composers — “music by…” or other contributors relevant to your topic. For example, Avatar: The Way of Water. Directed by James Cameron, performances by Sam Worthington, 20th Century Fox, 2022.

Citing a movie from the streaming site, mention it in italics at the end of the citation and include the URL. If you watched a film on a video-sharing platform, like YouTube, specify the uploader and date uploaded. For example, Beat The Devil. Directed by John Huston, starring Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones and Gina Lollobrigida, 1953. YouTube, uploaded by Timeless Classic Movies, 30 July 2016,

MLA Film in Text Citation

MLA in text citation film procedure is quite simple, and you can easily make a reference in your writing. In-text citations are parenthesized and contain the first word of the Works Cited entry. It’s the title in italics, as a rule, but if it’s longer than a few words, you should shorten it to the first few words. Continue with the time range of the part you quote or refer to. If the title is already mentioned in the sentence, you need to include in the parenthetical citation only the time range. If you refer to the film as a whole, you can specify only the title. Whether you cite a film from a social media website or a streaming video service, indicate words from the title and time of the relevant section. In all cases, italicize the title of the film and cite the relevant hour, minute, and seconds as displayed in your media player. If the video is less than an hour, specify minutes and seconds. For example, (Under the Skin 20:55–26:16).

MLA Citation for Documentary Film

A documentary film is a good citing source for any type of writing on any subject. Documentaries not only entertain but also educate viewers. You may think it’s easier to cite a book or journal in your paper rather than a documentary film. So here we prepared a guide to show you how to credit a documentary in your writing properly. Documentaries have the same citing formula as other types of movies.

So consider the following tips to highlight certain contributors in your paper. You should know the documentary title, the name of the documentary director, performers, producers, the website or streaming service you found the film, the name of the production company, the publication date, and the URL. The in-text citation will include the shortened documentary title and timestamps in parentheses. For example, (Citizenfour 0:43:12-0:55:50). The MLA bibliography format for a documentary film may look this way: Listening to Kenny G. Directed by Penny Lane, performance by Kenny Gorelick, HBO Documentary Films / Ringer Films, 2021.

MLA Movie Citation Generator

MLA citation movie generator is a special tool generating a reference to the movie for your writing automatically. These programs allow students to cite any film in minutes. The machine follows the latest MLA citation guidelines to produce the correct result. You should always double-check the information you insert in the citation generator to avoid any mistakes.

In order to cite a movie with the help of an automatic citation generator, you should specify your subject, the movie title, the director’s first and last name, place of origin, the studio, year, and formal (DVD, video, or film). Then click on the button to generate a citation, and write your email address to get a citation. As you see, there’s nothing challenging in using automatic tools for citing sources. It will be very helpful when you have to deal with many tasks and format paper in different styles. Students also use such programs when they want to dedicate more time and attention to the content of the writing rather than the form.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film MLA citation

As you know the basic formula for MLA movie citation, let’s explore how it will work for Harry Potter, directed by Chris Columbus. It’s a popular fantasy film that may be used as a reference in your work. The in-text citation will look like the title of the movie in italics and the time of the section you cite. For example, (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 01:20:22-01:25:15). The bibliography MLA citation for this film is as follows: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Directed by Chris Columbus, Warner Bros. Pictures, Heyday Films, 1492 Pictures, 2001.

The Hunger Games Film MLA Citation

If it’s an in-text citation, you will have to make a parenthetical citation with the title of the movie and timestamps. For example, (The Hunger Games 01:14:10-01:16:20). In the works-cited list this movie will look like this: The Hunger Games. Directed by Gary Ross, Color Force, Lionsgate, 2012. Here you can also specify the part of the movie you refer to as they were released in 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively.


Now you know how to cite a movie in MLA style manually and automatically. With the proper reference formatting, both in the text and in the works-cited list, you will make your writing look professional and credible. Look through this guide anytime you need to cite a movie in your paper or use a citation machine. For instance, citation-generating tools will help you with any format, and you don’t have all the rules on how to cite a movie APA, Chicago, and Harvard. We wish you good luck and hope you will achieve great results with our tips. If you have any questions on how to cite any type of sources, don’t wait to contact our experts.

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