How to cite a documentary in Chicago

Chicago style documentary citation

To cite a documentary in a reference entry in Chicago style 17th edition include the following elements:

  1. Director(s) of the documentary: Give first the last name, then the name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John). For two directors, reverse only the first name, followed by ‘and’ and the second name in normal order (e. g. Watson, John, and John Watson). End with 'dir' or 'dirs' respectively.
  2. Title of the documentary: Give the title as presented in the source.
  3. Place of publication: Give the place of publication of the source.
  4. Publisher: Give the publisher name in full.
  5. Year of publication: Give the year of publication as presented in the source.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a documentary in Chicago style 17th edition:

Director(s) of the documentary. Title of the documentary. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the Chicago style guidelines in action:


A documentary with two directors

West, Betsy and Julie Cohen, dirs. RBG. New York, NY: Magnolia Pictures, 2018.

A documentary with one director

Lears, Rachel, dir. Knock Down the House. Los Gatos, CA: Netflix Originals, 2019.

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