APA 6th Edition Movie Citation – Format & Examples

15.12.22 Examples Time to read: 3min

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Writers often use movies as sources for academic essays and articles. Therefore, it is important to learn how to use APA 6th edition movie citation to acknowledge ideas or quotes from a movie properly.

APA 6th Edition Movie Citation– In a Nutshell

  • When using the APA 6th edition movie citation, the movie directors and producers are the authors, and the production company is the publisher.1
  • This type of citation is used when quoting movie lines or explaining scenes or ideas from a movie.
  • APA 6th edition movie in-text citation follows the (director, year of publication) format.

Definition: APA 6th edition movie citation

A writer should credit the movie’s producer as the film’s author. The in-text citation includes the author’s surname and the publication year.2

For the references, the writer should italicize the title of the movie. They should also include and bracket the production studio as a publisher.

Format: Last name, First and Middle name initials. (Producer(s)), & Director Last name, First and Middle name Initials. (Director). (Year of production). Movie Title (Italics). Country of origin: Studio.
Reference list entry: Ayoade, R. (Producer), & Marshall S. (Director). (2011). Submarine. [Film Production]. United States: Twentieth Century.
First in-text citation: (Ayoade & Marshall, 2011, 0:35:22)
Subsequent in-text citations: (Ayoade et al., 2011, 2:14:33)
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APA 6th edition movie citation: Different formats

Writers are not always required to include the film’s format. However, if a writer is discussing a specific version of the film, the format should be included.3 In such a case, the author uses the version’s release date as the publication date.


Johnson, M., Bernstein, M., Newirth, C., & Paul, A. (Producers), & Gilligan, V. (Director & Producer). (2019). El Camino: A breaking bad movie [Motion picture; DVD release]. United States: Netflix Albuquerque Studios.

APA 6th edition movie citation: Movies on streaming services

A writer does not need to specify the streaming service they used for a particular film. The writer may simply use the standard format and omit the streaming service unless the streaming company produced the movie. In this case, the writer should provide the URL of the streaming service instead of studio information.


Davidson, F. (Producer), & Davidson, J. (Director). (1999). B. F. Skinner: A fresh appraisal [Motion picture]. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com

Where to find the information

The information required for an APA 6th edition movie citation can be found in the movie’s end credits or, for physical DVD copies, on the DVD case. One can also use the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) to obtain all the necessary information about a movie.


The references are listed alphabetically by producer name. The first reference line is aligned to the left, and subsequent lines are indented consistently.

In-text citations for direct quotations include (Producer/director’s surname, year of production). (Smithson, 2002)

The writer should include the names of producers and directors, followed by their roles in brackets.

In the case of a television show, the writer should use the standard movie citation and include “tv series” in brackets.


1 Utica Libguides. “APA 6th Edition: Motion Picture.” August 19, 2022. https://utica.libguides.com/c.php?g=291672&p=1943032.

2 The College of St. Scholastica. “Citation Help für APA, 6th Edition: In-text Citations.” November 7, 2022. https://libguides.css.edu/c.php?g=41681&p=265025.

3 Morehead State University. “APA Citation Style Guide (6th Edition); In-text: First und Subsequent Citations.” February 24, 2021. https://research.moreheadstate.edu/c.php?g=107001&p=695203.