How to Cite a Documentary in Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style, published by the University of Chicago Press, is one of the most-used style manuals in the writing business. It's conventions for citations are designed to provide the basic information a reader needs to locate the original source of content referred to within the text. Citations for documentaries, as well as for most works, are based on the same basic conventions used in book citations.

CMS Documentary Citation

Citations for film, documentaries and other recorded media follow the conventions outlined for audiovisual materials in the Chicago Manual of Style. Although all information is not always available, it is important to provide as much detail as possible in your citation. The citation starts with the author's or producer's first name, followed by last name, followed by a period. Next comes the title of the documentary, in italics and followed by a period. Then, include "directed by" followed by the appropriate first and last names of the director. No period is needed after the director's name. In parenthesis, include the original broadcast year followed by a semicolon, the city where it was produced followed by a colon, then the studio name or distributor followed by a period. If the documentary was released on DVD or through another medium, include the final release date within the parentheses. Finally, outside the parentheses, include the type of medium in which the documentary was ultimately release.