Penn students, faculty, and staff can stream feature films, documentaries, oral histories, video interviews, and other niche content through the Penn Libraries.
If you know what you’re looking for, search the title in Franklin. Under Access, choose Online to see streaming films.
To see all streaming videos in the Franklin catalog, under Access, choose Online, and under Format, choose Video.
If you want to browse, start with a streaming platform listed below. They offer curated selections and a visual browsing experience.
All types, all genres. Popular feature films, documentaries, short films, interviews, or historical video are available.
There are no rental fees to stream films through Franklin. There is no additional cost to you.
The films are available longer than a rental period - sometimes an entire year or longer.
You can see the date that the film will leave its platform in Franklin, the Penn Libraries catalog. Films change less often than films leaving Netflix, Hulu, or HBO each month.
No. Just access each streaming platform with an active PennKey and password. Access is restricted to current Penn students, faculty, and staff. Affiliated employees with PennKey access to other Penn Libraries resources - from the University of Pennsylvania Health System (HUP, Pennsylvania, and Presbyterian Hospitals) and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia - are also eligible to create accounts. Alumni are not eligible to access streaming films due to licensing terms.
Maybe! The Van Pelt Video Collection also has DVDs to borrow. To browse in Franklin, choose At the Library and format Video for DVDs. Don't have a player? The Vitale Digital Media Lab lends portable all-region players and external DVD drives (link: Equipment Lending).
If the Penn Libraries does not own the DVD that you want, you can Request Media through Interlibrary Loan using this form. We will try to find a library to supply it. Note: This may take 5-10 business days.
Questions? If you find an error or broken link, please report it through Franklin, or Ask Us.
Did you know that the Vitale Digital Media Lab lends external DVD drives? (Link: Equipment Lending. After logging in to the reservation system, search "DVD drive")
To request a streaming purchase or license instead of a DVD, or to inquire about streaming availability, email the Cinema & Media Studies Librarian, Charles Cobine, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Send Us a Question. Not all films are available to stream, and U.S. Copyright Law may not allow format transfers. Consult with us for other options.
Suggest a Purchase if the library does not yet own a film that is available for purchase.
Useful apps for Cinema & Media Studies
Not available to stream? It happens.
Search for the DVD
DVDs can offer bonus essays, booklets, interviews, and extra content.
Get the Kanopy app on mobile or TV
The Kanopy app is available on iOS devices, Android phones and tablets, and most smart TVs.
Please note that Kanopy access is restricted to current Penn students, faculty, and staff. Affiliated employees with PennKey access to other Penn Libraries electronic resources - from the University of Pennsylvania Health System (HUP, Pennsylvania, and Presbyterian Hospitals) and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia - are also eligible to create accounts. Alumni are not eligible to access this resource due to licensing terms. For more information, visit the Penn Libraries’ guide to accessing electronic resources.