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Film Studies Research Guide (Loudoun)

Guide created by Julie Combs & Eliza Selander. Direct comments to

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For individual research help, schedule an appointment to meet with a librarian.

Film & Society

"Film is a reflection of society, both present and past. I think the film and it’s innovations sometimes has to catch up to society but sometimes it leads society too. Movies are stories, movies are people who come out with ideas about something they want to say, something they want to tell someone. Movies are a form of communication and that communication, those stories, come from societies- not just where society is presently and what it’s doing now- but where society has been." - Tom Sherak, former president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, 2009-2011.

Search the Library Catalog

Search Tips

Search for books on your topic in the library catalog.  In addition to searching for books on your topic, you may also want to search by broader terms to include the cultural and/or socoiological context of the film. 

Sample keywords include:

  • film criticism
  • film genre and criticism (teen films and criticism)
  • film title or director (Edward Scissorhands or Tim Burton)
  • motion pictures and social aspects
  • motion pictures and psychological aspects
  • culture in motion pictures
  • racism in motion pictures
  • women in motion pictures
  • motion picture industry and diversity

Select 'Request Item' to have books from other NOVA libraries sent to Loudoun for pick up. If your book is at Loudoun be sure to write down the call number in order to locate the book on the shelf.

E-books and e-videos are accessible through the catalog. If you see any in your search results, click 'Online access' to open.

Library Databases

The best way to locate articles is through the library databases.  Go to Databases by Subject and look under Communication Studies, Film, & Theatre (CST) to find a list of relevant databases. Depending on the scope of your topic, you may also want to look in the subject listing Sociology (SOC). You can also perform a search in the databases below.

Remember not to write sentences in the search box.  Search by keyword, film/book title and/or name of director/author. 

Look for additional keywords or subjects offered. Also make sure to look for toolbars that provide print, email, and citation options.

Suggested Resources

“Racial Stereotypes in the Media.” Films On Demand, Films Media Group, 2008, Accessed 15 Oct. 2020.