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Research Guides

Cinema Studies

Search for Films and Videos (streaming or physical media)

Searching for Feature Films | Films by Genre | Films by Country | Streaming Video (jump to section) | Physical Video & Viewing (jump to section)

Searching by Title

Be aware that some films might have more than one version or could be an adaption from a book. 

  • Use quotation marks to instruct LibrarySearch to look for the exact phrase (e.g., "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"). With more generic titles, include the name of the director or another contributor (e.g., writer, composer, producer, actors). 
  • Use the filters on the left side to limit your results by Format (click on Video or Show more to see all options) and click on APPLY FILTERS button.  

Searching for Feature Films

Please note that titles available on the Kanopy streaming video service are currently not discoverable in LibrarySearch

Most films are categorized in LibrarySearch under the subject ‘Feature Films’, some remaining films may be categorized as ‘Motion Pictures’. These search terms can be combined with additional subjects, genres and country names to find specific films.  

  1. Open Advanced Search on the University of Toronto Libraries website 
  2. In the Search Filters, set the first drop-down menu to ‘Subject’, and the second drop-down to ‘contains’. 
  3. Enter ‘Feature films’. 
  4. Optionally, in the second Filters field enter an additional subject search. It may be helpful to experiment with selecting ‘Any field’ or ‘Subject‘, and ‘contains’ or ‘is (exact)’.  
  5. In the Format drop-down select ‘Video/Film’. 
  6. Select the green Search icon. 

Films by Genre

Genres of feature films can generally be found via a Subject search for that film genre followed by the word ‘films’. For example, 'Comedy films', 'Science fiction films', etc. 

  1. Open Advanced Search on the University of Toronto Libraries website.
  2. In the Search Filters, set the first drop-down menu to ‘Subject’, and the second drop-down to ‘contains’ or ‘is (exact)’. 
  3. Enter the genre term followed by the word ‘films.’  
  4. In the Format drop-down select ‘Video/Film’. 
  5. Select the green Search icon. 

Here are some common genre searches:  

Films by Country 

To search for films produced in a specific country: 

  1. Open Advanced Search on the University of Toronto Libraries website 
  2. In the Search Filters, set the first drop-down menu to ‘Any field’, and the second drop-down to ‘contains’.  
  3. Enter ‘Feature films -- CountryName’, where CountryName is substituted for the desired country, eg; ‘Feature films -- Peru’, ‘Feature films -- Germany’, etc. 
  4. In the Format dropdown select ‘Video/Film’. 
  5. Select the green Search icon. 

Here is an example search for Canadian films sorted by newest date 

Stream Film & Video via UofT Libraries

A growing number of online video resources is now offered by UofT Libraries, available for classroom and individual streaming when logged in with your UTORID. Explore these tips on searching for film and video in UofT LibrarySearch, but also search for films or topics within UTL streaming platforms that have additional filters to help narrow search results. 

UofT Film Resources Guide

Full list of UTL online film collections 

We highly recommend visiting UTL Streaming Video page because it is continually being updated and contains even more online film collections, incl. Streaming Film  |  Educational and Curriculum (Multi-Subject)  |  Subject Specific  |  Freely Available

A few of the collections to highlight 

  • UofT Mississauga Library's Asian Short Film Collection   
    • This is a unique collection compiled and made available by UTM faculty and librarians in the Department of Visual Studies and the UTM Library. The collection consists of short films from several Asian regions. 
  • Audio Cine Films (feature films and documentaries)
    • ACF is a film streaming service containing many new Hollywood releases (incl. Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios, Touchstones Pictures, Universal, Columbia Pictures, & MGM Pictures, Sony Pictures, and more) 
    • NOTE: Titles are displayed in LibrarySearch, however we recommend searching within the ACF service if you are unable to find a title.
  • Asian film Online (feature films, short films, documentaries and more)
    • A  selection of over 1,000 narrative feature films, documentaries and shorts by Independent Asian filmmakers. 
  • Alexander Street - Academic Video Online
    • Pro-Quest service featuring an array of video collections (Archival and Current Event collections, Black Studies, LGBTQ Studies, and more). For a full list of Alexander Street collections, select 'Menu', then 'My Collections'.
  • Criterion-on-Demand Canada (feature films and documentaries)
    • Numerous Titles are available in both English and French from film studios including: Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate Films, Alliance Films, Warner Brothers, Miramax Films, Mongrel Media.
    • Browse by genre categories or search by keyword.
    • For Advanced Search, find the link marked "Click here to activate all search menus".
    • NOTE:Titles are displayed in LibrarySearch, however we recommend searching within the Criterion service if you are unable to find a title.
  • Docuseek2 Collection (documentaries)
    • "This rich selection of issues-based documentary film comes from leading film producers and distributors, including Bullfrog Films, Icarus Films, the National Film Board of Canada, MediaStorm, Terra Nova Films, KimStim, and Scorpion TV, and other independent filmmakers from around the world."'
  • Electronic Arts Intermix (art and avantgarde video)
    • "Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is a nonprofit arts organization that is a leading international resource for video and media art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 4,000 new and historical video works by artists."

  • Filmmakers Library (documentaries)
    • Collection of issues-based documentaries
  • Film Platform (documentaries)
    • "An innovative collaboration between leading filmmakers and film distributors from around the world bringing the finest documentary films to an academic audience. Our global selection of films includes many Oscar nominated documentaries and film festival winners."
  • Kanopy (feature films, short films, documentaries and more)
    • "We stream thoughtful entertainment to your preferred device with no fees and no commercials by partnering with public libraries and universities. Everyone from film scholars to casual viewers will discover remarkable and enriching films on Kanopy. Log in with your library membership and enjoy our diverse catalogue with new titles added every month."
    • Toronto Public Library also offers Kanopy access with a library card (8 watch credits per month). The TPL collection contains different films from the UofT membership.
  • MyMedia Collection
    • A collection of films that have been purchased for various faculties and uploaded have been uploaded to the UofT MyMedia video streaming service.
  • NFB Campus - National Film Board of Canada  
    • "Our Collection includes documentaries, animations, experimental films, fiction and interactive works. We showcase films that take a stand on issues of global importance that matter to Canadians." Note, some films are labelled as ‘Campus’ and can only be viewed while on campus and connected to the U of T network.
  • New World Cinema
    • Independent Features and Shorts, 1990-Present
  • Silent Film Online
    • High-quality silent feature films, serials, and shorts from the 1890s to the 1930s.
    • Globally minded collection includes examples of the silent film movement from Germany, Britain, the Soviet Union, and France, and complements its feature films with a selection of related documentaries.
  • World Newsreels Online
    • Over 500 newsreels from 1929–1966

Borrow Physical Films & TV Series (DVD, BluRay, VHS + Viewing Stations)

Hold Requests for Physical Media

It is possible to access physical films through various UofT Libraries (UTL) and in some cases, submit Hold Request to have videos delivered between campuses (e.g., St. George, Scarborough, Mississauga, Downsview) or retrieval of films for pickup. For streaming content, visit UTL Streaming Collections or the UTL Film Resource Guide

Physical Collections and Viewing Stations at UofT Libraries  

Robarts Library - Films, TV, Viewing Stations & Screening Rooms

  • (130 St George St) Please be aware that the 3rd floor service desk has closed.
  • For questions about access and room bookings, please get in touch via phone or email <>. 
Accessing films from Robarts Film Storage: 
  • When searching for films, use the Format filter to limit the search to Video and then limit the library location filter to Robarts
  • Submit Hold Requests to borrow films and tv series for home-viewing or elsewhere!
Watch films while on campus:  
  • On-site viewing stations (VCRs, BluRay players, and All region DVD players available on the 3rd floor of Robarts). 
  • Bookable screening rooms at Media Commons for group viewings on the 3rd floor of Robarts.
  • External disc drives that you can borrow and connect to your own laptop.  

Victoria University - E J Pratt Library (Film / Video)

  • (71 Queen's Park Crescent East)
  • Films can be borrow at the library's circulation desk. 
  • Some computer work stations have CD/DVD R/W Drives installed. 

St. Michael’s College - John M. Kelly Library (Films / DVDs)

Music Library  (Audiovisual Collections, Viewing Stations)

(80 Queen's Park Crescent)

  • Listening/viewing stations equipped with CD/DVD/Blu-ray players and headphones. Select stations also support VHS tape playback. 

Innis College Library -  Animation Kiosk  

( 2 Sussex Ave, R. 220E,  above the Registrar's Office)

  • Innis College Library is fortunate to house an Animation Kiosk that is a joint venture with ASIFA Hollywood ( and Stephen Worth (, the kiosk contains biographies of animators, producers, and comic book artists, as well as rare animation, drawings, cels, and other artwork.
  • Book a timeslot to use the Animation Kiosk (1 user at a time) onsite (Library's main floor, R. 220 E). 
  • Please bring your own earphones that can be plugged in (USB or headphone plug). 

UofT Media Archives

Media Commons (MC) Media Archives contains different film formats, personal & business documents, images & more with a focus on film / video production, advertising, electronic & print journalism, broadcasting, photographic arts, & multimedia / music production. Several collections have special focus on Canadian media & popular culture.​ ​

Stream Open Access Films on the Web

A full list can be found at the bottom of the Media Commons Streaming Video page under the heading Freely Available Online Resources.

Toronto Public Library - Streaming & Physical Media

UofT Students can apply for Toronto Public Library Card (or TPL Digital Access Card).

Your TPL card provides access to: 

If you encounter an error message, please let Kate know.