How to cite documentary in APA

APA documentary citation

To cite a documentary in a reference entry in APA style 6th edition include the following elements:

  1. Director(s) & Producer(s) of the documentary: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J. D.) of the primary contributors (e. g. Director or Producer) ending with a parentheses identifying their contribution.
  2. Year of publication: Give the year in brackets followed by a full stop.
  3. Title of the film: Only the first letter of the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
  4. Format or medium: Simply provide 'Motion picture' or the medium e.g. DVD as description.
  5. Location: List the city and the US state using the two-letter abbreviation. Spell out country names if outside of the UK or the USA.
  6. Production company or studio: Give the name of the company that produced the documentary.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a documentary in APA style 6th edition:

Director(s) & Producer(s) of the documentary. (Year of publication). Title of the film [Format or medium]. Location: Production company or studio.

APA reference list examples

Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the APA style guidelines for a documentary citation in action:


A documentary where the directors are also the producers

West, B. & Cohen, J. (Directors & Producers). (2018). RBG [Motion picture]. New York, NY: Magnolia Pictures.

A documentary with one director

Lears, R. (Director) & Blotnick, R. & Olson, S. (Producers). (2019). Knock down the house [Motion picture]. Los Gatos, CA: Netflix Originals.
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This citation style guide is based on the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition).

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