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Film Studies

Open Textbooks

Open Textbook Collections


  • YouTube
    • Search YouTube by keyterms and try filtering by channel or “Creative Commons” license (these videos are specifically labeled for reuse).
    • Some good channels:
      • YouTube-produced “CrashCourse” series (see especially Film History and Intellectual Property)


Ebooks in the Library

The CSUSM University Library has an extensive collection of ebooks on a variety of topics. To find what’s available:
  • Go to the University Library homepage
  • Choose “Books and More”
  • Enter keywords and search
  • Use the limiters to narrow by “Full Text Online” to ensure all results can be accessed directly from your computer
  • Limit by “Books” to filter out journals and media

Film/Cinema Ebooks – CSUSM Library

Journal Articles

Consider including journal articles as required or supplemental reading for your courses. Search through our Film databases for articles. Just be sure to direct students to the article by permalink (or static URL) rather than posting the PDF directly in your Cougar Course. This will ensure two things: 1) that we are complying with copyright and publisher restrictions, and 2) that our journal usage is counted (this allows us to justify maintaining our subscriptions).

This page provides examples illustrating how to find permalinks in the Library’s databases.

Please contact your librarian if you are still unsure of how to find the permalink.


Open-source Journals

Open Courseware

  • Merlot – Film, Video & Electronic Arts
    Merlot (Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) is a compilation of freely available resources for use in higher education, hosted by the California State Universities.

    MIT Open Courseware

    MIT Open Courseware offers an extensive series of online courses. Courses generally include lecture videos, assignments, exams, and more.

    Interactive Multimedia Production (Andrew Walker, PhD., Summer 2008)

    Course from Utah State University

    OER Commons

    Searchable by discipline and academic level, this site provides a broad range of instructional materials, including texts, images, videos, primary sources and more.


Other Open Educational Resources

Free Film Collections

  • Films for Action
    A catalog of over 1,500 of the best films and videos that can be watched free online. These films address social, environmental, and media-related issues.
  • Internet Archive: Moving Image Archive
    A large (and growing) collection of public domain films of documentary, entertainment, and historical interest.
  • Video on Demand
    A collection of performances, lectures, interviews, and installations recorded at UCSD. These are free to watch using RealPlayer. Use the video finder subject divisions to browse the offerings (try starting with the Arts & Music collection and then select the “by subject” tab. A title/keyword search option is available. Of interest are the Media Arts and Artists Profiles sections.
  • YouTube Education
    Videos of various lengths featuring of a variety of lecturers and topics.

Film & Television Multimedia

Film Analysis & Reviews

  • Images: A Journal of Popular Film and Culture
    Discussion of films, genres, and directors along with reviews of both theatrical-release movies and video.
  • Scope
    From the University of Nottingham Department of Film Studies, this free journal addresses meaning and representation rather than the technical aspects of various films. Covers a wide range of cinema as well as book and film reviews.
  • Roger Ebert
    One of the more well-known popular movie reviewers, this site assembles his reviews from the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.
  • Internet Movie Database
    For basic information about a film, this is one of the more complete sites. The comments from other visitors are NOT scholarly, so don’t rely on that part the site.
  • Movie Review Query Engine
    This site collects reviews from a variety of resources for over 45,000 movies.
  • Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
    As determined by the New York Times reviewers with plot, and reviews. Reviews are accessible after registering.
  • Greatest Films
    One individual’s subjective lists of the greatest films. Useful for reviews, plot summaries, and histories of the films along with a “Tips on Viewing Films Critically”. Sections on Chronology, Glossary, Academy Award winners, and more.

Film-related Organizations

  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
    This is the organization that selects the Academy Award winners to receive the coveted Oscars. Information on winners in all categories can be found here.
  • American Communication Association
    A portal to journals and academic sources on film, film studies and the business of film and screenwriting.
  • American Film Institute
    The largest organization concerned with the moving image from commercial, education and preservation aspects.
  • British Film Institute
    Offering links on history, film reviews, scriptwriting and much more, this provides more of the European view of film.
  • BBC-Film
    From the British Broadcasting Company, this site offers reviews, filmmaking advice, and information on alternative films among many other useful pieces.
  • H-FILM
    Discussion and resource site for cinema history and uses of media.

Film Production Resources

  • FilmSound.org
    A collection of free sound effects for download.
  • BBC-Film
    From the British Broadcasting Company, this site offers reviews, filmmaking advice, and information on alternative films among many other useful pieces.
  • Creative Planet Communities
    Online news, articles and discussion boards for technical assistance on specific film making an editing tools.
  • IFP.org
    A resource for independent filmmakers including information on production and networking.
  • Filmmaking.net
    Along with some useful reference sources, there is a directory of film schools and classified for equipment.
  • iEarn MovingVoices: The Filmmaking Process: Plan on Paper
    A guide to plotting the film before getting behind the camera.
  • Nuts and Bolts Filmmaking
    For the “guerilla filmmaker”, articles, tips, and downloads.
  • Screensite
    Resources assembled by the University of Alabama for film students and teachers.
  • Traditional Film Camera Techniques
    General explanations of various film effects, including angle and depth of field.


 Other CSUSM Library Resources

More information about finding and using library resources can be found on the Film Research Guide.



Have a good idea for a free resource? Tell us about it! Email your subject specialist.