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Film Studies Research Guide: Directors, Actors, Writers, etc.

A guide to conducting research in Film Studies at Yale University, including key resources and crucial search strategies.

Directors, Writers, Actors, etc.

What's Here

Laurel and Hardy in The Bohemian Girl. From the Crawford Collection, Yale University Library Manuscripts and Archives.

This page addresses ways to get critical analyses on directors, producers, actors, screenwriters and other people involved in filmmaking.

See also:

Many resources on films and social groups concerns films that are by and about that group. This page focuses on films by members of that group but includes some resources that cover both. (For resources on how films represent a social group -- the about -- see the Themes, Subjects & Characters page.)


Books on Individuals

Works by a particular director: Author = welles, orson
Works about a particular director: Subject = welles, orson
Works by a particular actor: Author = yeoh, michelle

You can conduct similar searches for writers and other people.


See also Biographies, Credits and Plots.


Books on Filmmaking Positions and Social Groups

Here are some selected subject headings for searching Orbis:

NOTE: These subject headings are about the actual people -- not about films about these groups of people.  For example, Spike Lee is an African American director, but not all of his films are about African Americans.  Nevertheless sometimes there may be overlap with Themes, Subjects & Characters.


See also Filmmaking & Producing.


Reference and Online Resources

Be sure to look at the Bibliographies & Filmographies page for more resources on particular social groups!


Black Film Center/Archive (Indiana University)

A repository of films and related materials by and about African Americans. Included are films which have substantial participation by African Americans as writers, actors, producers, directors, musicians, and consultants, as well as those which depict some aspect of black experience.

Black Film Research Online (University of Chicago)

A resource guide covering the works of Black filmmakers from across the African Diaspora; the production, distribution, and exhibition of films by, for and about Blacks; issues of Black spectatorship and reception; and images of Black people in film from the invention of the medium in the late 19th century to the present.


A distributor for films by women. Useful if you are looking for primary resources.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers

Profiles of actors, actresses, directors, writers and other production artists. Now incorporated into the Biography in Context database.


An outgrowth of the 50/50 Women Filmmaker's Summit, site includes information on historical women directors, statistics on women directors, and director interviews.

The St. James women filmmakers encyclopedia: women on the other side of the camera. Edited by Amy L. Unterburger. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, c1999.

SML Reference, PN1998.2 S683X 1999‚Äč

Separate Cinema Archive

An archive dedicated to the history of African-Americans in film. The archive of over 25,000 posters, lobby cards, stills and assorted ephemera spans the past century of important and historic black cinema.

Third World Newsreel

Founded in 1967, Third World Newsreel is one of the oldest alternative media arts organizations in the United States. Focuses on the creation and appreciation of independent and social issue media by and about people of color, and the peoples of developing countries around the world.

Women filmmakers & their films. Edited by Amy L. Unterburger. Detroit; New York: St. James Press, c1998.

SML Reference, PN1998.2 +W66X 1998

Women Make Movies

The largest distributor of women's media in North America. Includes links to research resources on women in film and video. Useful if you are looking for primary resources.

Websites on Individuals


Here are some example websites on particular directors, writers, etc.  Some contain articles, bibliographies or other scholarly resources, but be aware that as with any website, information in these sites may or may not be authoritative.  Some have not been recently updated, but may retain their usefulness (if any).


Alfred Hitchcock Scholars/'MacGuffin' Web Site



Director, Film Study Center