Use Film in Courses

We have a rich collection of documentaries and feature films to support your course plan. You may want to show full-length videos and clips during a class meeting, or through your Canvas course.

Find Video offers tips on how to find and access video in a variety of formats within our library collection. Our guide to streaming video resources has more information about services and databases, including a list of licensed films. 

We also coordinate with the Language Resource Center, which provides additional film materials and space to support faculty, staff, and students who study languages, literatures, and cultures.

Our Copyright Office provides valuable guidance on using video, including in course sites.


We provide streaming film for instruction, research, and personal interest. There are several options for making full-length videos and clips available on your Canvas course site or through our website. 

Top sources for films

We license films from Swank Digital Campus — predominantly a source for features — as requested individually by instructors. Licenses are for one year. See what films are licensed and the expiration dates by visiting Swank and creating a personal account.

Other major streaming databases with films readily available for use include:

Commercial streaming sources such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu do not license their content for academic use. Netflix has made a selection of documentary features and series openly available on the Netflix U.S. YouTube channel.

If we do not have access to a film you want to stream for your course, please submit a streaming request. Contact Josh Harris at for assistance adding streaming video on your Canvas course site.

Create clips

Most of the streaming video databases allow you to create clips. You usually need to create an account with the respective database, and follow their instructions for creating clips. If you’d like to create a clip from a physical format, consultants in ScholarSpace may provide you advice. LSA faculty can also take advantage of the Video Clip Digitization Service.

Show a film in class

Askwith Media Library materials can be reserved for classroom viewing using the Place a future reservation option within Get This in Library Search.

Alternatively, you can contact us at to let us know what materials you'd like to use and the dates they're needed.

Onsite viewing

Contact the Askwith Media Library at to reserve films for onsite viewing at Askwith Media Library viewing stations