APA 6th Edition film Citation – Format & Examples

15.12.22 Examples Time to read: 3min

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The 6th edition of the APA style for films provides consistent guidelines for acknowledging film sources in academic writing. This citation format, widely used in the social sciences, ensures the filmmaker is credited appropriately, and maintains the overall academic integrity. Understanding the APA film citation format is essential for accurate referencing and the prevention of plagiarism. This article gives an elabourated explanation of it and includes respective examples.

APA 6th Edition film Citation– In a Nutshell

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

Definition: APA 6th edition film citation

A writer should credit the film’s producer as the film’s author. The in-text citation includes the author’s surname and the publication year. For the references, the writer should italicize the title of the film. 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 film 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. 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 film [Motion picture; DVD release]. United States: Netflix Albuquerque Studios.

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


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 TV show, the writer should use the standard film citation and include “tv series” in brackets.