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Research Guides

Cinema Studies

Search by Directors, Film Title, Keywords

Click on the UTL LibrarySearch Advanced Search and follow the instructions provided. 

a) Search by Film Title 

Use quotation marks to search for specific titles. Be careful with spacing, hyphens and abbreviations. 

  • e.g., "Best in Show"

b) Search by Keywords

Use quotation marks to search for specific compound words and names. Be careful with spacing, hyphens and abbreviations. 

  • e.g., "Media events"  "Rodney King"  

Use an asterisk (*) to tell the database to pull any result containing the root word.  

  • e.g.,   CINEM* cinemacinemas, cinema's, cinematic, cinematography

Learn more about "Combining Keywords (Search Operators)" to build effective search queries In LibrarySearch. 

c) Search by Film Director

Use the format last name, first name

  • e.g., Guest, Christopher

Search by Subject Heading (Cinema Studies)

Subject headings are similar to tags or hashtags. They describe the topic of an item in a database, but unlike tags they come from an official, standardized set of terms and are assigned by cataloguing experts.

Use subject headings to:

  • Quickly determine the subject of an article or book
  • Search the library catalogue or other library databases more efficiently
  • Discover other items on the same subject. 

Subject Headings 

  • Motion Pictures
  • Motion Pictures--Reviews
  • Motion Pictures--History
  • In Motion Pictures
  • Motion Picture Industry
  • Motion Picture Producers and Directors
  • Motion Picture Producers and Directors--Interviews
  • Motion Picture Actors and Actresses
  • Motion Pictures and Literature
  • Motion Pictures--Philosophy
  • Philosophy In Motion Pictures
  • Motion Picture Music
  • Sound Motion Pictures
  • Film Criticism
  • Cinematography
  • Aesthetics
  • Criticism and Interpretation
  • Production and Direction
  • Plots, Themes, Etc
  • Film Adaptations
  • Film and Video Adaptations
  • Culture in Motion Pictures
  • Women in Motion Pictures
  • Men in Motion Pictures
  • Gender Identify in Motion Pictures
  • Animated Films
  • Comedy Films
  • Documentary Films
  • Experimental Films
  • Horror Films
  • Musical Films
  • Science Fiction Films
  • Short Films
  • Silent Films

Other Film Genres 

National Cinemas

  • Television
  • Television Criticism
  • Television In ... 
  • Television Broadcasting
  • Television Programs
  • Dubbing of Television Programs
  • Animated Television Programs
  • Documentary Television Programs
  • Fantasy Television Programs
  • Women on Television
  • African Americans in Television Broadcasting
  • Al Jazeera (Television Network)
  • For CBC look up:
    • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Digital Media
  • Mass Media 
  • Mass Media Criticism
  • Streaming Video
  • New Media Art
  • Virtual Reality
  • Virtual Reality in Art
  • Video Games
  • Video Games Industry

Screenwriting & Screenplays

Filmmaking Resources 


Searching with Subject Headings

  1. Go to UTL LibrarySearch Advanced Search
  2. Set up the search field by changing dropdown menu from Any Field to Subject
  3. Enter any of the Subject Headings found below exactly as it appears in the Search Box 
    • To direct the database to search for the exact key word: Use quotation marks (e.g., "Motion Pictures", "Motion pictures -- Aesthetics") OR change the next drop down menu to is (exact) to search for that spelling.
  4. If using various keywords, experiment using the dropdown search operators (AND, OR, NOT)  to build your search query. 
    • Subject heading contains "science fiction films"  AND Subject heading contains gender 
  5. Press Enter or click on the Search button in bottom right corner.  

For additional search tips for subject headings, review: How can I use subject headings to improve my searching? 

Screenshot of UofT Advanced Search with subject field for "motion pictures" AND films AND is (exact) Cinematography

Combining Keywords (Search Operators)

Search operators are a set of commands that can be used in almost every search engine, database, or online catalogue.  The most popular  operators are AND, OR, and NOT. These must all be in capital letters to work. Other operators include parentheses, truncation, and phrases.

Use the following search operators to broaden or narrow your results.

AND Use this word between concepts to narrow your results.  e.g. sensory AND perception
OR Use this word between related concepts.  e.g. habitat OR ecosystem
NOT Use this word to exclude terms from your search. e.g. virus NOT corona
Quotations Use quotes to search for a multi-word concept. e.g. "International Year of Indigenous Languages"
* Use the asterisk symbol to include alternate word endings. e.g. cultur* will search for culture, cultural, and culturally
? Use a question mark to include variations in spelling in your search. e.g. wom?n will search for woman, women
(  ) Use brackets to create separate groups of actions in your search. e.g. "climate change" AND (ecosystem* OR habitat*) AND Ontario

Pictured below is an example of how all of the above search operators can be combined to refine a search that will help locate sources describing the experience of women participating in the Black Lives Matter movement in Canada.

Advanced search using brackets, quotations, an asterisk, and the AND, OR, and NOT commands.

How do I use the Boolean search option in LibrarySearch?

boolean search for social and policy not economic

Boolean search operators can be used in Advanced Search box. Boolean operators allow you to combine search terms using the following commands:

  • AND
  • OR
  • NOT
  • NEAR


 Boolean search  Every search result will have
 social AND policy  Both "social" and "policy" 
 social OR policy  Either "social" or "policy"
 social NOT policy  "Social" but not "policy"
 social NEAR/2 policy  Both "Policy" and "social".  "Policy" will appear within two words before or after "social"  
 social ONEAR/2 policy    Both "Policy" and "social".  "Policy" will appear within two words after "social"


For more information on using all the many features and functions of LibrarySearch, have a look at this guide on using the new system.