CineFiles is a gateway to digitized film-related documents and ephemera that have been collected by the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive since the 1970s. This portal contains indexing information as well as scans of materials from the earliest days of cinema to the present. We invite you to use CineFiles to explore our collections and discover the rich history of cinema.
There are many ways to start searching, but the field near the top of each page that says “Enter a few keywords here to get started…” is the easiest way to begin your search. Enter one or more terms you’re looking for and click the search button (or hit enter), and you’ll be on your way.
If you’re unsure where to start, try clicking on one of the featured collections on the front page of the CineFiles portal.
The featured collections are thematic groupings of documents that represent highlights from CineFiles. They are only a small selection, but they should give you an idea of what kinds of materials you will find in CineFiles.
Click on any of the featured collections to get started, then click on images of documents that interest you to get additional details.
The links under the “Limit your search” heading on the left side of the CineFiles front page and search result pages are called facets. A facet is a way to see the most commonly used terms in a given field. If you click on Document: type, for instance, the various types of documents available are listed (“review,” “press kit,” “stills,” and so on). If you would like to see more document types, click the more >> link. You can then browse through all the types of documents available.
Use bookmarks to flag documents that you might want to look at again. A “bookmark” checkbox can be found on search result pages, as well as in the document details view. Click that checkbox and the document will be bookmarked for you.
To see your bookmarked documents, click on Bookmarks in the top right menu.
You do not need to be logged in to save bookmarks while you are searching, but your bookmarks will only be saved for future sessions if you log in to your CineFiles account. You can log in at any point and any bookmarks you created during your current session will be added to your account and saved.
At the top of each document details page is a link labeled Back to Search. Click on this link to be taken back to your search results.
At the top left of each document details page, just above the document name, are two links labeled <<Previous and Next>>. Click on either of these links to go to the previous or next record in your results list.
Clicking History in the top right menu takes you to Search History—a record of your most recent searches. You can then click on any of your listed recent searches to see the results of that search. You can also remove all searches from your Search History by clicking Clear Search History.
Search History is just a temporary record of your searches. If you have a search you’d like to permanently save, click on Save next to the search in question. You’ll need to be logged in to save searches, but logging in (or creating a new account) will not cause your search history to go away. Just log in and click on Save again.
Saved Searches is your permanent repository of searches that you find especially useful. You can add any search to Saved Searches by clicking on Save next to that search in Search History, and you can delete any search from Saved Searches by clicking the delete button next to the search in Saved Searches.
When you create a CineFiles account, you agree to the terms limiting access and use of documents that are restricted by copyright holders. You are then able to access restricted documents for personal research purposes.
Having an account also allows you to permanently save your bookmarked documents and your favorite searches.
You will usually not need to use the Advanced Search fields unless you want to use specific boolean search operators like OR, AND, or NOT, or you want to use other search logic such as requiring specific terms or matching on any of a series of search criteria. With the exception of this last search behavior, all of this functionality is also available within the simple search field at the top of each page.
Here’s an example of an Advanced Search: Documents in German that are about either Fritz Lang or Jean-Luc Godard.
You can search for documents that match any of a set of terms by using the OR operator in Advanced Search. For instance, you might wish to find documents in German or Dutch, but either will do. To find these documents, enter the following in the Document: language field:
german OR dutch.
Be sure to typeOR in all caps for the search to work properly.
You can search for documents that match all of a set of terms by using the AND operator in advanced search.
For instance, you might wish to find documents that contain text in both French AND English. To find these documents, enter the following in the Document: language field:
french AND english.
Be sure to type AND in all caps for it to work properly. (The AND operator is technically not needed in this example, as words entered in advanced search fields are by default combined with AND.)
You can also use multiple logical operators in your search, in combination with parentheses, to make more complex queries such as the following, which will retrieve documents that are either in both French and English, or in both French and Spanish:
Document: language: (French AND English) OR (French AND Spanish)
Two fields (Document: publication year and Film release year) make use of a graphical timeline widget. To use this widget, slide the upper and/or lower limits to any value you desire and then click on Limit to apply those limits to your search. If you prefer, you can also type in specific start and end dates and click Limit. To search for a specific year, you can enter the desired year in the start date box on the left and click Limit.
Match all requires that every document in the result set have each search criterion you have entered. Match any only requires that every document in your result set have at least one of the search criteria you have entered.
No. You can enter a term in lowercase, uppercase, or a mix of the two and CineFiles will find results regardless of capitalization.
Depending on your result set and the information that those records contain, you may see more or fewer facets on the left side of the page. Facets will not display if there is no information in a field within the records in a search result.
For instance, if your result set contains records for 10 documents and none of those documents has a director as subject listed, the Document: director as subject facet will be hidden, as it would otherwise be empty.
Also, if your result set only contains records for films (which list the director, country, year, etc. for an individual film), you will not see facets that only apply to document records (for example, Document: author). If your result set only contains records for documents (reviews, articles, etc.), you will not see facets that only apply to film records (for example, Film release year).
While some materials on CineFiles are in the public domain or are otherwise free to be shared online, many of the documents on this website are protected by copyright.
Many copyright holders have granted us permission to make their work freely available online for scholarly use, but any other uses still require the permission of the relevant copyright holder.
Some documents are not available openly on CineFiles, as their copyright holders retain a commercial interest in providing access to these works. However, sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act provide exemptions from copyright restrictions for “fair use,” and for libraries, archives, and museums to provide access to copies of items in their physical collections. Following these guidelines, we require users who wish to request access to such documents to create an account with CineFiles, and to acknowledge that their access is limited and for personal study use only.
We take copyright very seriously and monitor the use of our collections for signs of fraud and abuse.
If you believe that you own the copyright to a particular work currently on the CineFiles portal and wish to have it removed, please contact us immediately and we will work to resolve your concerns.
Students and teachers have rights to use copyrighted material in the classroom, and also have exemptions for teaching and research under “fair use.”
Here are some helpful guides that can help you learn more about copyright and fair use in the classroom:
We would love to hear how you are using CineFiles for your classes! Please drop us a line in our comments form.
Depending on your required citation format, a citation might look like this:
Baillie, B., & Deren, M. (1955, December 1). Experimental films are great. New York Times, p. A1. Retrieved from https://cinefiles.bampfa.berkeley.edu/catalog/9876
Kuchar, George. “You said it, I really like experimental films.” Sight & Sound, Mar. 1988, https://cinefiles.bampfa.berkeley.edu/catalog/12345
The CineFiles project currently represents about one quarter of the BAMPFA Film Library and Study Center’s paper files of film documentation. We add to the portal daily, but indexing and digitizing the collection is a large, long-term project.
The Film Library and Study Center also provides in-person research access to the BAMPFA film and video collection, and we offer a growing collection of streaming audiovisual content on the Internet Archive.