menu

How to Cite a Documentary in Chicago Style


Whenever you quote or paraphrase information from a source, you must provide bibliographic information for the source. This includes non-text sources such as documentaries. If you adhere to the citation guidelines set out in "The Chicago Manual of Style," you should cite your sources in footnotes and in a bibliography at the end of your paper. The exact format for citing a documentary depends on whether you are citing it in a note or listing it in your bibliography.

Citing a Documentary as a Note

List the name of the film in italics, followed by a comma.

List the name of the director in this format:

directed by John Doe

List the original year of release, the city and state of distribution, studio or distributor and the year in which the documentary was released on video. This should appear in this format:

(2007; Los Angeles, CA: Lionsgate Films, 2008),

List the medium of publication, followed by a period. For example:

DVD.

In the example, the full note should appear as:

The Best Documentary Ever, directed by John Doe (2007; Los Angeles, CA: Lionsgate Films, 2008), DVD.

Citing a Documentary in a Bibliography

List the name of the film in italics, followed by a period.

List the name of the director, followed by a period. For example:

Directed by John Doe.

List the original year of release, followed by a period.

List the city and state, studio or distributor and the year of video release in this format:

Los Angeles, CA: Lionsgate Films, 2008.

List the medium of publication, followed by a period. For example:

DVD.

In the example, the complete bibliographical entry should appear as:

The Best Documentary Ever. Directed by John Doe. 2007. Los Angeles, CA: Lionsgate Films, 2008. DVD.

About the Author

This article was written by the Pen & the Pad team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about Pen & the Pad, contact us