How to Cite a Film in MHRA Referencing
  • 3-minute read
  • 25th October 2020

How to Cite a Film in MHRA Referencing

Have you referred to a film or documentary in your work? If so, find out how to cite a film in MHRA referencing with our guide below.

Citing a Film in MHRA Referencing

In MHRA referencing, you will cite sources in footnotes. To do this, you will use superscript numbers in the main text to indicate footnotes:

Footnote numbers usually go after final punctuation.1

You will then provide the source information in a footnote at the bottom of the page. And for a film, this mean using the following basic format:

n. Film Title, dir. by Director’s Name (Distributor, Year).

However, you may need to include information about the format as well:

  1. For films on physical media, include the format in square brackets (e.g., “[on DVD]” or “[on Blu-ray]”) after the distributor and year.
  2. For streaming services, you’ll need to add the phrase “online film recording,” the name of the platform, a URL, and a date of access.

In practice then, footnote citations for films in MHRA would look like this:

1. The Shawshank Redemption, dir. by Frank Darabont (Columbia Pictures, 1994).
2. Casablanca, dir. by Michael Curtiz (Warner Bros. Pictures, 1942) [on DVD].
3. Jurassic Park, dir. by Steven Spielberg (Universal Pictures, 1993), online film recording, Netflix, <https://www.netflix.com/watch/60002360> [accessed September 14, 2020].

If you cite a film more than once, meanwhile, you can use a shortened footnote format after the first citation. For a film, this means giving the title. For more information, see our blog post on repeat citations in MHRA.

Pinpoint Citations for Films in MHRA

Typically, MHRA style does not require you to give pinpoint citations for sources without page numbers, including audiovisual sources.

However, if you want to quote a film or point the reader to a particular part, you might want to add a timestamp at the end of the relevant footnote:

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4. The Shawshank Redemption, dir. by Frank Darabont (Columbia Pictures, 1994), 01:12:34.

Here, for instance, the timestamp shows that we’re citing something from 1 hour, 12 minutes, and 34 seconds into the film.

Films in an MHRA Bibliography

If you cite any films in your work, make sure to add them to the bibliography at the end of the document. The format here is the same as in the first footnote citation, except for a few minor tweaks:

  1. There is no period at the end of the entry.
  2. Each line after the first should include a small hanging indent.
  3. You do not need a pinpoint citation (i.e., timestamp).

In addition, rather than using the director’s name to alphabetize films in the bibliography, like you would with the author of a book, you should use the first main word of the title. With The Shawshank Redemption, for instance, we would list it under “S” for “Shawshank” (not “T” for “The”).

In practice, then, the entries for the films above would look like this:

Casablanca, dir. by Michael Curtiz (Warner Bros. Pictures, 1942) [on DVD]

Jurassic Park, dir. by Steven Spielberg (Universal Pictures, 1993), online film recording, Netflix, <https://www.netflix.com/watch/60002360> [accessed September 14, 2020]

The Shawshank Redemption, dir. by Frank Darabont (Columbia Pictures, 1994)

Hopefully, this has helped you understand how to cite a film using MHRA style. If you’d like an MHRA expert to check your writing, though, our proofreaders are ready to help. Simply submit a free trial document for proofreading today and find out what we can do.

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