Welcome to Kinolab

Our aim is to be the richest, most comprehensive collection of film and show clips available for non-commercial use in the United States, built from the ground up by the students and scholars using it.

Kinolab’s name comes from the Greek κινέω (kīnéō), which means ‘to set in motion’. Moving images are what we specialize in here. Our name and research mission may be lofty, but we’re no snobs. You’ll find joints, flicks, movies, art films, and everything in between represented in our collection. We’ve got television and streaming series, too. If you’re a student or a scholar of films and shows, you’re in the right place.

Our platform is specially designed for the digital analysis of moving images. It contains hundreds of clips annotated by expert curators and by you, our users, to highlight distinctive examples of form and content. Advanced search functions allow you to find clips associated with a particular search term or even a combination of search terms. Interested in using our collection or contributing to it? Get started by registering today.

Our Team

Allison Cooper

Project Director

Allison Cooper is Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Cinema Studies at Bowdoin College. Her work on Italian cinema, literature, and culture has appeared in The Italianist Film Issue, Annali d’Italianistica, and several anthologies on Italian film and literature. Her manuscript in progress, Cinematic Rome between the Sacred and the Profane, analyzes filmic representations of Rome’s dual identity as capital of the Catholic Church and capital of the Italian state. Her research interests also include convergences between moving image and computational analysis. Kinolab is the product of several years of research into a solution for storing, cataloguing, annotating, searching, and sharing moving image clips related to her own research on Italian cinema and her teaching in the Cinema Studies program at Bowdoin College.

Fernando Nascimento

Lead Collaborator, Digital and Computational Studies

Fernando Nascimento is Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital and Computational Studies at Bowdoin College, where he teaches an introductory course on digital and computational studies along with computation in context and digital text analysis. His work on ethics and hermeneutics in the writings of Paul Ricoeur has been published in Storyworlds:A Journal of Narrative Studies and Études Ricoeuriennes/Ricoeur Studies. As co-director of the digital portal Digital Ricoeur, he is developing a template for advanced textual analytics that can be re-instantiated for the works of other thinkers and by other scholarly communities. He brings nearly 20 years of private-sector experience in software development to his work advising Bowdoin faculty develop their own digital projects and techniques.

Stacy Doore

Lead Collaborator, Computer Science

Stacy Doore is Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Bowdoin College. Her research interests include assistive technologies and computing ethics.

Ishani Agarwal

Student Curator

Ishani (“Shani”) Agarwal is a member of the Bowdoin Class of 2020, with a major in Classics and a minor in Cinema Studies. 

David Francis

IT Development

David Francis

is Senior Interactive Developer in Academic Technology and Consulting at Bowdoin College, where his work to increase public access to institutional data has included making public domain images from the Bowdoin Museum of Art available for download, incorporating GPS data into the records of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, and creating a crowd-sourced tagging toolset to help improve searchability of the Museum of Art’s collections. He brings experience with database administration and software development to his development work on Kinolab, which has included setting up and extending the project’s Omeka-based framework.


Kinolab has been made possible through the generous support of Bowdoin College, in particular the Office of Academic Technology and Consulting, the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs, and the Digital and Computational Studies Initiative, along with funding from the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Our Advisory Board 

John P. Bell, Assistant Professor of Digital Curation, University of Maine and Associate Director of the Media Ecology Project at Dartmouth College

Jason Mittell, Professor of Film and Media Culture and Faculty Director of Digital Liberal Arts Initiative at Middlebury College

Mark Williams, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies and Director of the Media Ecology Project at Dartmouth College

Statement on Fair Use and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Every clip in Kinolab’s collection has been enriched with metadata by our own users to highlight its distinctive use of film form or content. This analytical process transforms the motion picture clips that are our source material and enables users to view them in new, unanticipated ways. This is how Kinolab educates film students and stimulates new research among film studies faculty. The project’s nonprofit, educational mission and its transformative repurposing of motion picture clips represent a fair use of copyrighted work under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976.

The film clips contained in Kinolab’s collection have been extracted from the films in which they originally appeared and are then repurposed to illustrate key concepts relating to film form, especially cinematography, mise-en-scène (a category that includes actors, lighting, décor, props, and costume), editing, and sound. For instance, “Slo-Mo Hotel” is a Kinolab clip from Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film Inception that film-student curators tagged as an example of parallel editing (an editing technique that alternates between two or more strands of action in separate locations, often presented as occurring simultaneously). Kinolab invites users to study this brief excerpt from Inception in light of the formal techniques highlighted in its metadata. A user interested in learning more about parallel editing could then pursue this line of inquiry further by clicking on the parallel editing tag and viewing other clips in the collection associated with it, from D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1916), which pioneered the technique, to Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino’s Il divo (2008), which uses it to evoke the pervasive power of Italian politician Giulio Andreotti. While the original purpose of the films from which these clips were extracted was to entertain, the clips’ purpose in Kinolab is to educate and stimulate further discussion of the formal film techniques that they exemplify. Likewise, the audience and market for the original films and the repurposed clips are different, consisting on the one hand of filmgoers who are consumers and, on the other hand, of cinema students and scholars who want to learn about film.

Kinolab’s clips are digital-format reproductions of born-digital works. Every clip in the collection presents a distinctive example of the film forms users are studying and is therefore reproduced in its original format without modifications to aspect ratio or the original work. Clips are extracted directly from lawfully-acquired DVDs whose source information is made available online alongside each clip in Kinolab’s user interface. The project is subject to the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which amended U.S. copyright law in 1998 and originally prohibited the circumvention of technological protective measures on DVDs whether or not there was an infringement of copyright itself. Recent exemptions to the DMCA permit the circumvention of these controls by university faculty and students engaged in film studies classes or other courses requiring close analysis of film and media: precisely Kinolab’s users. DMCA exemptions also prescribe that only short portions of copyrighted works be used for purposes of criticism or comment, a rule that Kinolab respects by voluntarily limiting to 15% the portion of any whole copyrighted motion picture represented in its clips. Contrary to common assumptions, fair use does not specify a maximum allowable amount of material to be taken from a copyrighted work. Instead, that amount depends upon how much is needed to illustrate a point or stimulate discussion among one’s target audience.

Finally, Kinolab restricts access to its collection to students and faculty who are actively engaged in the study of film and controls that access with password protection. Users are informed when applying for access to the site that its materials are available for scholarly use only.

For More Information

Contact Project Director Allison Cooper in the Cinema Studies Program at Bowdoin College, 7800 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011 or via email at acooper@bowdoin.edu.