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LIT 289 - Literature And Film : Formatting and Citing in MLA

Citing a Film in your MLA Bibliography

Guidelines for Citing Films*

For bibliographic citations at the end of your paper, list films by their title. Include the name of the director, the film studio or distributor, and the release year. If relevant, list performer names after the director's name.

  • For example: What We Do in the Shadows. Directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, performances by Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, and Cori Gonzales-Macuer, The Orchard, 2018. 

If you want to emphasize specific performers or directors, begin the citation with the name of the desired performer or director, followed by the appropriate title for that person.

  • For example: Coppola, Francis Ford, director. The Godfather Part 1, Paramount Pictures, 1972. 

**Adapted from the Purdue OWL ( )

Citing a Film in your MLA In-Text Citations

To cite a film in the body of your paper, use an in-text citation. Your in-text citations will match up with how you've cited the film in your bibliography. 

So, if you cited the film by the title, the in-text citation would include the films title. 

  • Example: The oldest vampire, Petyr, is hunched and goblin-like, recalling the film character Nosferatu (What We Do in the Shadows). 

You can even shorten the film name after using the full name one time in your paper. 

  • Example: In another scene, the pack of enemy werewolves picks a fight with the vampire trio (What We Do)


If you cited the film using the director's name in the bibliography, continue to do it that way in your in-text citations. 

  • Example: Among the most famous quotes from the film is "Leave the gun, take the cannoli" (Coppola). 

More examples here:

Guide to Formatting an Essay from Dr. Wiley

Printable Handouts

OWL at Purdue University