Wikipedia talk:Notability (films)/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Criterion 1

I'm not happy about the medium to large country, this will surely be viewed as a case of systemic bias. Of course it's not like Wikipedia is drowning in articles about Gambian cinema but still... Pascal.Tesson 16:39, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I have to agree with you here. There are many films which are of a high quality being released in smaller countries. The above mentioned criteria should be changed. --Siva1979Talk to me 17:28, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
The wording is borrowed from WP:MUSIC criteria 1 and 2 which are footnoted There are, at present, no precise definitions of a "small", "medium" or "large" country in this context. However, a very limited definition of "small" will generally be used, excluding only a few of the world's smallest countries.. I'll add the note, but alternately the criterion could be scraped or rewritten. The idea behind it is to demand actual release rather than "I screened my fan film at a Star Trek conventon". Eluchil404 21:07, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough, but I'm not sure this is needed at all for films. Again, it will be easier to get support for a simpler proposal that has no weaknesses. Films are not songs: a song is very very unlikely to be a charted hit in Luxemburg only but the probability that a movie would be released only is Luxemburg is zero if only because even the cost of printing a copy of a film for theatrical release discourages such a limited release. Pascal.Tesson 15:15, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually most luxembourgian films are only released in Luxembourg. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:06, 25 November 2006

WP:BK uses the following released nationwide in a country, or into 200 or more commercial theaters, but in no case less than 50 such theaters with regards to what constitutes a "major motion picture". If that a better criterion? Eluchil404 01:48, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Given that a lot of independent movies skip theatrical release these days and are only out on DVD, I wonder if requiring a theatrical release is over the top? Most of the good ones would still qualify under one of the other categories, but you could end up with a direct-to-DVD movie that's in every rental store in the world, which millions of people have seen, but which can't be included here. Mark Grant 03:28, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I think the change to has been written about by in a non-trivial manner would cover that situation, since any popular movie should get at least a few reviews. Mark Grant 22:29, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the rewitten coverage criterion should cover such cases. On the whole I think the new fuller version is better. There may be difficult cases in practice but the examples given should provide as fairly firm floor. Eluchil404 18:09, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

50 Rule

I thought the idea of the 50 rule was so that a movie wouldn't qualify just because it's been shown in, say, the single cinema in the Cook Islands? Mark Grant 01:54, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

I am pretty sure that that is what was ment, but it was rather poorly worded, perhaps adding back in the medium or large country wording is the best way to go. Eluchil404 18:11, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Something from books notability

If a film's been studied similar to the way a book has in multiple programs, isn't it notable? This would be a similar point to the one already used by the books notability criteria. ColourBurst 16:12, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Do you mean academic programs, like college classes? How might you verify that? --Satori Son 17:03, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
    • You could verify that by examining a university syllabus.

Released films criteria

I don't think #4 is necessary, possibly not even #3. Any film meeting those will almost inevitably meet #1 as well, certainly if reviews count. Of course, if a major-studio release gets no publicity or coverage whatsoever that fact is probably itself notable. Basically, I don't think Wikipedia should have a deliberate, clculated pro-corporate bias. It's already primarily edited by the fortunate fifth, probably the fortunate fiftieth globally.–♥ «Charles A. L.» 17:55, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

200 Commercial Theaters?

By that logic, a film shown at Cannes and Toronto and Sundance, but nowhere else, wouldn't make it onto Wikipedia. I know some of the other clauses would make up for it, but I think an appearance in at least one film festival is suitable. the preceding comment is by Deltajuliet - 07:43, 10 September 2006: Please sign your posts!

This is arguably a weakness, but such films will usually meet criterion 1 with reviews or 3 with awards so I don't think this is a major problem. Are there any films which would be excluded that you feel shouldn't be? Eluchil404 23:48, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
The debate over the proposed deletion of Terror Storm is throwing up some interesting questions about notability for me because it is a film designed to be distributed by undergroud methods, such as being given away for free on googlevideo and youtube, so it will probably be shown at festivals but it won't get a mainstream cinematic release. I think it is notable, but most of its press is on the internet. If it gets awards then that solves the problem for now, but i sense that this could be the tip of a growing issue - internet distributed films will naturally be publicised more on that medium, rather than in the "reliable" sources of newspapers and magazines, thus we may have to revise the criteria of notability in future. Just some thoughts for now... Mujinga 12:57, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Please also see Wikipedia_talk:911_POV_disputes#Sources.2FNotability for some proposals by User:JustFacts. I believe we need additional criteria for films which do not meet the proposed (01:27, 28 September 2006 (UTC)) standards, but are nonetheless to be deemed notable, simply because people take notion of them en masse. — Xiutwel (talk)

What about Straight-To-DVD Releases???

There are a ton of films that wouldn't meet these standards that are fairly commercial. For example, Straight-to-DVD releases wouldn't pass these standards -- they aren't usually the greatest films but they are usually notable enough. For example, most of Wesley Snipes and Steven Seagal's recent releases. Dodgem4s 09:28, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Most of them meet either 1 or 4. Remember for 1 all it needs is two reviews from reliable sources not feature stories in Variety and the New York Times. Eluchil404 20:49, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Wouldn't TV Movies fail these new guidelines, too?

A lot of TV movies would fail to meet these standards as well. I understand trying to add these standards -- but there are way too many holes in the proposed guidelines.Dodgem4s 09:28, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

TV movies get reviewed (e.g., in Entertainment Weekly, a reliable non-trivial source). I think many if not most would meet the first criterion, and possibly the fourth. Anyhow, the fact that some movies wouldn't meet the criteria isn't itself an argument against applying them; that's the point of having criteria, after all.–♥ «Charles A. L.» 14:59, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
While I agree that many TV movies would meet these criteria, it is not really designed to apply to them so may, at times, be a poor fit. I also do not consider guidelines such as WP:NOTFILM to be necessarily binding or exhaustive. A film might still be notable while technically failing the guideline, but you would still have to demonstrate that notability with citations to reliable sources rather than mere relationship to an otherwise notable person or production company. Eluchil404 20:52, 28 September 2006 (UTC)


This page serves no purpose — there's no evidence that there is any sort of widespread confusion or dispute regarding the inclusion of film articles. All this does is create more bureaucracy, and its arbitrary rules are unlikely to help in any way, aside from facilitating the deletion of perfectly good articles. --SB | T 01:01, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

But, but, but, .... without an endless pile of rules and processes to fret over, whatever would we do? Think for ourselves? Derex 07:30, 31 October 2006 (UTC)


I just want to clarify: If a film is on the IMDB, does that make it notable? I think it doesn't. SolelyFacts 19:30, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

No, being listed on IMDb is not an indica of notability. On the other hand, not being listed is a good indica of non-notability so IMDb isn't irrelevant to the discussion, its standards are just different than Wikipedia's. Eluchil404 08:24, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
In this case, I will tag "notability" on the so many articles that does not deserve to be on Wikipedia, according to the notability criteria. Thank you. —SolelyFacts 18:38, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
I would like to ask that you do not go tagging every film out there with a notability tag. That would just be unproductive. Pascal.Tesson 21:09, 11 November 2006 (UTC)


I object to the criteria for released films as they now stand. I apologize if this has been discussed before, but there are a few points that I feel I should mention.

1. The film has been the subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the film and its creators/producers. I think this should be changed to "one or two" rather than "multiple"; I know of a few fairly important films which nevertheless have not had much at all written about them due to them fading into obscurity as time passed. Examples: The Adventure of Sudsakorn, the films of Quirino Cristiani. One or two trusted and well-researched published works should be enough, because there are many noteworthy works of cinema which slip through the cracks until some diligent historian discovers them. In short, perhaps another criterion about being "noteworthy to the history of cinema" should be added, so that such films can be added even if there aren't very many published works about them (there probably were when they were released, but who can find them now?). Also, what about films which feature notable people in their crew but do not have much written about them?

A final question: do reviews count?

2. The film has been theatrically released nationwide in a country, or into 200 or more commercial theaters. I understand that this is basically subservient to requirement #1 and thus fairly useless, but shouldn't something be written about direct-to-video and made-for-tv films at least? The more important question is, though, what exactly does "released nationwide" mean? If it's released in two different cities in a country, is that a nationwide release?

3. The film has received a major award for excellence in some aspect of filmmaking. I foresee arguments about what is a "major award" and what isn't. Why not just shorten it to "award"?

4. The film is a full length film released by a major studio. Again, what is a "major studio" exactly? And why should only "full length" (I assume feature-length was meant) films count?

Anyway, besides the problems that I've pointed out, I propose a 5th qualifier: "5. If a person who is judged notable enough to have an article on wikipedia is involved in a film, then that film is notable too. However, an article on the film should be created only if there is enough information on it that it would clutter up the biography page of that person if it was mentioned there (this last rule is designed to prevent heaps of pages about short internet videos)."

Esn 06:09, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

My comments on your objections are below.

1. Because of WP:V and WP:RS, I am very reluctant to rely on a single source to support notability (multiple means 2 or more). Unless it can be shown that other people consider a film notable claiming that it is important to the history of cinema is likely to run afoul of WP:OR. And yes reviews generally count for this criterion as long as they come from a source generally regarded as reliable and not from the movie makers website or a random blog.

2. This has been quieried before, and while it brought up a blind spot in my thinking, I don't think the criterion needs to be changed. Direct-to-video films simply cannot (IMHO) achieve notability based on their release and should have to qualify under another criterion. I don't think that made for TV movies are within the scope of the guideline (as they are a genre of television rather than of film), but if they are the same logic would apply.

3. Because anyone can make up an non-notable award to give to their film. Imagine a Star Trek convention that holds a juried fan film contest and declares a winner. Would that film be notable? I think not. The subjectivity of 'major' is indeed regretable but I don't think it is avoidable.

4. I honestly don't really know what a major studio would be and don't much like this criterion. Did someone else write it? On the other hand, I do think that a distinction between feature length films and shorts is appropriate. Since the former are mostly notable and the latter aren't, IMHO.

As for a transfered notability criterion, I forsee two problems, though it's not a bad idea. First, it could be read as sanctioning articles on truly trivial subjects that should be a sentence or less in the article of the notable person associated with them (e.g. Peter Jackson's childhood remake of King Kong). And secondly, the scope of associated should be clarified. The names of notable people often get attached to minor projects in which they have little or no actual input. I agree that films directed by notable directs or starring notable actors are ipso facto notable, but say films produced by a production company the president of which has a wikipedia article maybe not. Eluchil404 10:11, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Tagged as Historical

The proposal has been tagged as inactive and I have declined to revert. There is not claer consensus on whether these criteria are appropriate or even necessary, and given the relative paucity of cites to this proposal in AfD, I am happy to leave it in abeyance until someone else feels that it is necessary to restart the discussion. Eluchil404 07:26, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

I might as well point out that the criteria on unreleased films on this page are often brought up in AFD discussions, and the final decision often rests upon them. For example, here. My objections to the main policy above should not be so difficult to solve. It just seems like nobody really cares enough to try at this time. Esn 08:28, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I have tried to keep track of how often this page has been cited in AfD discussions and haven't noticed that many recently, but maybe its enough to justify a guideline. As for your objections above, I feel that most of them would inappropriately weaken the guideline to include many films of dubious notability. I'll provide a blow-by-blow rundown of my thoughts since you asked but would want to get more people involved to reach a real consensus. Note that this has been mentioned twice on the village pump, so I am hesitant to keep posting it there saying "Hey come comment on my proposal!" Eluchil404 09:48, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Some other article that covers the issue then

If this article has to stay as a historical failure, we still have to clear out what it was intended to do, or we will never be able to solve many of the recent problems that Project Films is facing. I know it's not simple, but we have to (re)start somewhere. Hoverfish 22:49, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Could Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Release Version Criteria be of any help? Hoverfish 22:55, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I think so.--Supernumerary 22:52, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

We also have all these Film templates in film articles waiting for some importance assessment. I honestly don't find a clue in the above link but maybe I'm not very bright. Is importance of a film not its notability? Hoverfish 23:01, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I think importance is, if not equal to, at least related to notability.--Supernumerary 22:52, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Time to update

We need to redo this page to make it useful and relevant. I think this process will entail multiple votes to gain consensus. Anyway, some things that I think need fixing are, under released films, criteria three and four. They are, "3) The film has received a major award for excellence in some aspect of filmmaking. 4) The film is a full length film released by a major studio." I think we should specify what constitute the major studios and major awards. Also I don't think a major award is sufficient but that the award should be from a major organization as well. Of course these organizations will also need to be specified.--Supernumerary 23:00, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

I added a list of major film studios, but they're all American. I have no clue what the major ones in India or in Europe are, so those need to be added.--Supernumerary 02:59, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Please note two things. First of all, criterions 2, 3 and 4 are superfluous to criterion 1 (in pretty much any conceivable situation, anything that satisfies criteria 1 will satisfy criteria 2, 3 and 4 as well). Second of all, the vast majority of film articles on wikipedia are of films which have not been released by a major studio. You'll likely find wide-ranging opposition at Wikiproject Films to deleting the majority of its articles. Basically, what you're doing now is not usefull (my apologies about the bluntness). I think it would be better to simply delete criterions 2, 3 and 4 altogether - just criterion 1 alone seems to cover all bases that come to mind... Esn 03:41, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, this is tricky. I see what you mean about the studios though and have removed them.--Supernumerary 06:35, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm glad this page is on the move. One odd related phenomenon I have observed in the project work-list for films without an article. I was checking Walter Matthau's filmography, fixing links and came across First Monday in October. Not finding enough mention of the film, I created a red link for it in the project's list of films without articles. Then someone deleted it. I reverted but asked why and was told the mixed article was more than enough on the issue and no article on the film was necessary. So I marked First Monday in October (film) as No importance (in the red list). Next thing someone started an article on it. I have a notion some editors will select in particlar "low importance" films to start articles on. Following the same notion, I think we will face a big problem if we use notability to delete film articles.

Also, please take a look at the temporary worklist of Australian Films. Although it was created in the list of missing articles, it ended up being a list of existing articles mostly, so I have been trying to make some markings for importance based on imdb ratings and awards (I know that's not enough, but had to start somewhere). It is my only systematic effort to mark films importance in a big list. If there are any clues in this attempt for this project, or if you have any clues for me, I'll be glad to be of assistence either way. Hoverfish Talk 08:53, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

My attention just fell on The Astro-Zombies. No awards, imdb rating 2.2, but still an article and a well loved one. Such films are a subculture. We shouldn't try to uproot them from Wikipedia. Maybe we could find some category for such entries. Hoverfish Talk 09:02, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, my proposition is that we should simply keep criterion #1 and ditch the other existing ones. Instead, we should add another requirement to criterion #1: that the film has been screened publicly at least once (cinema or TV) or released on home video. If it satisfies both of those requirements (a mention in a publication and made available to the public at some point), then it can be included. Many independent films don't get that far, so that would provide some kind of bar, as well as allowing articles for films which only get festival releases, for example (or direct-to-video/made-for-tv films).
Also, perhaps a "criterion #2" can be created (as I suggested some ways above; this is a slightly modified version): If a person who is judged notable enough to have an article on wikipedia is notably (not trivially) involved in a film, then that film is notable as well. However, an article on the film should be created only if there is enough information on it that it would clutter up the biography page of that person if it was mentioned there.
Unfinished films which are historically important would not satisfy the first criterion but would satisfy the second (ie. Creation, which was a kind of prototype for the 1933 King Kong).
And of course, unreleased future films already have their own guidelines which I think are quite adequate already and shouldn't be changed much if at all. Esn 09:58, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

We will HAVE to draw somewhere a line for inclusion. Films that have been screened in English talking countries may be OK. But if all greek or italian films that have been screened in Greece or Italy (but not in the English talking world) start coming in, we are opening a bottomless pit. I also know users who will go ahead and do it. Here is what E.S.Blofeld started doing: Wikipedia:WikiProject Films/List of films without article/List of missing Brazilian Films and it took me quite some effort to persuade him to bring it all in project space and start filtering it for "notability" before giving red links. Hoverfish Talk 18:15, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

And why shouldn't we include films which have only been released in foreign countries? We must include them as a way of countering systematic bias. This is a world-wide project, and writing about things which are only notable in English-speaking countries violates a central tenet of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is designed to be a never-ending quest - it is NOT a paper encyclopedia. Therefore, there is no reason to apply strict standards, to films or anything else. I disagree strongly with your proposition and would like to again bring to everyone's attention the two-criteria model that I proposed above, which is fairly close to what was here before but seems to me to be more logical (because before, everything except criterion #1 was redundant). Esn 21:51, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

We Appear To Have No Standards

I'm kind of shocked at how incredibly loose these supposed standards of notability are, and can't fathom the fact that many are objecting that they're too strict! It's a safe bet that somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 films qualify for inclusion, the vast majority of which have been entirely forgotten. I'm in favor of MUCH tougher standards. If we can't establish some kind of reasonable standards, then we might as well abandon this guideline (though perhaps this is already the case).

The first fix I would suggest would be to change the text from:

"In general a film is notable if it meets one or more of the following criteria"


"In general a film is NOT notable if it fails to meet at least one of the following criteria."

If a film fails to meet any of these criteria, then clearly it is NOT notable, but meeting one or more of them is NOT SUFFICIENT to establish notability.

I would further suggest that a film should have multiple non-trivial articles published about it at least five years after its initial release. Films that are less than five years old should have some VERY TOUGH standards to meet, as it's easy for our editors to be swept up in the hype around anything current, though most films that seem notable close to their release time are entirely forgotten by the viewing public, critics, and historians alike. Though perhaps even ten years is a better guideline for what's current. And, by definition, no unreleased film in current production or development would be notable enough for inclusion in this encyclopedia, as such films don't even exist.

This may seem like an extreme position to take, but frankly I consider the existing guideline terribly inadequate. After all, how notable do you really think Daltry Calhoun,[1] Biker Boyz,[2] and Virtual Sexuality[3] are? I'm sure I can't attest to the notability of Sweet Kitty Bellairs,[4] Rhapsody in Brew,[5] or Ice-Capades Revue.[6] Perhaps these were great films, but I doubt they are as "notable" as say City Lights, Casablanca, and Citizen Kane. Yet all of these easily qualify as notable under the current guidelines. zadignose 14:29, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

You're suggesting multiple non-trivial articles OR a major film award, right? Also, I'd suggest that single or several major articles might suffice for less commercially prominent genres of films. I'm thinking about a classic animated short line Bead Game by Ishu Patel, which doesn't have a wealth of articles online, but has won major international awards and does merit an entry in the my country's very noteworthy Canadian Film Encyclopedia. Shawn in Montreal 14:54, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps a better example is the short doc Banshees Over Canada, which is not well known or cited, but is included in the noteworthy List of Allied propaganda films of World War II. In my view, any new guidelines for film articles would also have to include the caveat that films can also be judged noteworthy if they are of historical or societal significance, even if they aren't award winners or well-cited. Shawn in Montreal 16:30, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Such historical or societal significance must be noted in already published non-trivial articles, to avoid the claim of Original Research. We can't decide what films, so far barely noted, are socially significant, but published critics and academics certainly can. I'll state here that I fully understand that tough standards of notability will exclude many great films that we wish were duly noted. But, unless they actually have inspired sufficient discussion in print articles, they just can't clear the bar of notability.zadignose 15:13, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
@Shawn in Montreal: Interesting that you mention Bead Game, as I met Ishu Patel at a screening of this film in Boulder Colorado a few years back. I agree that, besides non-trivial articles, major awards have to be considered an indicator of notability. Also, I'd say that non-trivial articles do not necessarily have to exist as online documents. If there have been several non-trivial articles published, that should be sufficient. Maybe someone's going to have to go to a library once in a while... but of course we're stuck with the challenge of defining "non-trivial articles." At this point, I'd say that just a capsule review in a daily paper, or inclusion in a sort of massive directory of thousands of films such as "Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide," or "Time Out Film Guide" is trivial... of course these books are great sources of verifiable information for inclusion in articles, but not every film listed is "notable" if we can't find less trivial articles to support them. However, regarding "Bead Game" specifically, I'd say that whatever you could write about that film would best be included in the article on Patel, rather than in its own article, unless some non-trivial publications can be found to provide enough detail to justify a separate entry, full of verifiable NOR details.zadignose 15:13, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

By the way, I fought a losing battle, facing humiliating defeat, in my attempt to challenge the notability of films not yet produced, when I nominated Ocean's Thirteen as an article for deletion HERE. So, unless our guideline makes some strong case for a change to the way such films are approached, I guess that sequels to films already deemed notable are pretty much unassailable whether or not they are actually produced. I objected to the speedy dismissal of the discussion HERE, which can be further commented on, with my basic point being that regardless of how the final vote was bound to fall, we should have been able to engage in a more thorough discussion of the relevant issues. I selected this particular film because I wanted to address the issue directly, rather than taking the disingenuous approach of nominating an "easy target" first and then claiming a precedent. But I've pretty much abandoned the debate on this point, as I see I have little support for my fringe opinion.zadignose 15:13, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with having 30,000 film articles. Remember that Wikipedia is NOT a paper encyclopedia, and already has over a million articles. 30,000 out of more than a million is a pretty small number, no? Rather than attempt to push through a very tough guideline which will see a huge number of existing film articles deleted which will be opposed by a large number of wikiprojectfilm contributors, I feel that it is more productive to settle on a guideline which is more in tune with which articles are being kept and deleted now and which thus stands a greater chance of being supported by members. Esn 22:38, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Clearly, if we want to maintain the status quo, there is no need to revise our guidelines, and in fact no guidelines are needed at all. But if we have an interest in the quality of Wikipedia as an encyclopedia, then we must draft sensible guidelines to ensure the notability of article subjects. There may be over 1,000,000 articles on Wikipedia, but we are very far from having 1,000,000 quality articles! Many classes of articles suffer from the same lack of notability standards that we see for film. The fix to the problem is not to encourage the continued addition of new articles, of minimal interest, on non-notable films. And, while 30,000 articles may be a small percentage (though 3% isn't that small) of one million, it's certainly a stretch of the imagination to suggest that there exist 30,000 "notable" films. Such a definition renders the word "notable" meaningless.
I believe the WP:NOT PAPER argument has been used too broadly, and often misapplied. I would never suggest blocking the creation of a quality article on a notable subject out of fear that "we're running out of space," or to keep the number of articles arbitrarily small. But WP:NOT PAPER should not be construed to suggest that all possible articles are appropriate, or that we need no standards of notability. The WP:NOT article asserts an interest in creating a quality encyclopedia in the very first paragraph. The secion about "not a paper encyclopedia" explicitly says it should not contradict other principles... and these other principles include a commitment to a quality encyclopedia, and recognition that Wikipedia is not an indescriminate collection of information. The only way to reasonably discriminate as the the inclusion of verifiable articles is on the basis of notability.
Notability is of significant value in judging an article for inclusion. Every vote at AfD or CfD that referred to a piece of "trivial info," or "indiscriminate collection of information" was an assertion of notability standards. This value is implicit in other existing policies and guidelines.
It may be difficult to gain support for tougher guidelines. That's because people generally don't want anyone to tell them that their personal obsession with some trivial topic is not of sufficient general interest to justify an article. But we can't abandon every effort to ensure the quality of Wikipedia simply because the majority are quite content to turn it into an indiscriminate collection of information. For the sake of the future of Wikipedia, it will serve it's users to be given meaningful, concrete guidelines, so that they at least know what is expected, and don't have to waste their time penning articles that clearly fall outside of those guidelines.zadignose 05:44, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I abbreviated my earlier preamble that attempted to explain some of the reasons for the guideline. For want of a place to move it, I've copied the text here in case it's relevant to further discussion:

  • Many Wikipedia policies and guidelines exist, which indicate the notability standards used when evaluating articles for inclusion within Wikipedia. A great many decisions regarding whether to keep, merge, or delete articles of all kinds hinge upon the notability of the articles' subjects. Notability is often associated with the existence of verifiable references, which is a Wikipedia mandate. The existence of verifiable references is often an indicator of notability, so the subjects of notability and verifiability tend to complement and support one another.
Indeed, Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia, so it can contain more comprehensive coverage of its subjects than a paper encyclopedia could ever achieve, and it has no upper limit on the theoretical number of articles it can contain. At the same time, it is an encyclopedia, with a goal of quality coverage of notable subjects. It is not an indiscriminate collection of information. Among other things, it excludes trivia, which clearly involves a judgment of notability.
The goal of maintaining a quality encyclopedia is frequently asserted. Therefore, guidelines for evaluating the notability of subjects is required, in order for us to identify the kind of quality encyclopedic articles that are desired, and to exclude the kind of trivial information, original research, non-notable, and unverifiable articles which could compromise the overall quality of Wikipedia.
This guideline exists to aid in such judgments regarding film articles.

zadignose 16:07, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

My suggested criteria for released films - please discuss

(for why I think that this is the best criteria to have, see the many discussions above as well as my explanation over here. I think it is concise, reasonable, and would not require the deletion of a large number of existing film articles such as some of the other proposals above)

In general a film is notable if it meets one or both of the following criteria:

  1. The film has been released publicly at least once (eg. cinema, TV, home video) and has been the subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the film and its creators/producers.
    • This criterion includes published works in all forms, such as newspaper articles, books, television documentaries, and full-length magazine reviews except for the following:
      • Media reprints of press releases, trailers, and advertising for the film. 1
      • Trivial coverage, such as newspaper articles that simply report the film name and where it is being shown.
  2. A person who is judged notable enough to have an article on wikipedia is notably (not trivially) involved in the film involved in the film significantly (ie. one of the most important roles in the making of the film).
    • An article on the film should be created only if there is enough information on it that it would clutter up the biography page of that person if it was mentioned there.

Esn 22:02, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

For some of the reasons I detailed above, I find this proposed loosening of our guideline doesn't fully address the needs of Wikipedia for concrete guidance in determining which films are suficiently notable. zadignose 12:50, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Although it may or may not be a loosening of the guidelines (the first criterion is made more exclusive than it previously was), it is in fact stricter than the primary notability criterion. And, although I admire the edits that you're proposing yourself, I'm not sure if they are really so much more exclusive than what I proposed over here. For a film to be released publicly at least once (eg. cinema, TV, home video) and to have been the subject of multiple non-trivial published works is not something that many small/obscure films can manage. Although I generally agree with the guideline as it stands now, I wonder if my guideline would achieve largely the same effect while being simpler. The major weakness of my guideline is that it doesn't address the notability of unfinished/unreleased films, and doesn't cover quite as many contingencies as the one that's there right now does. I don't think that they are fundamentally too different, though, in their implications. Esn 22:18, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Heavily Edited Guideline Proposal

I've been bold, and peformed a very extensive edit to our guideline, demonstrating some of what I think it should contain. Please note that, as I pointed out on the section A Reflection of Existing Standards, this guideline is not overly prescriptive, despite first appearances. There are so many publications relating to film that any reasonably notable film should be able to qualify. I also made a point to suggest that the guideline be used to help improve existing articles by searching out reference materials, so that it's not used to exclude notable films that simply haven't been properly researched and cited. More resources should be added to help our editors find the necessary reference materials to improve their articles.zadignose 12:50, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I dislike the proposal fairly intensely. Partly because I feel that it is too strict in intention, but mostly because I think that it strays too far from what is the clear consensus of editors. I've never seen a comercially released film be deleted and everything which is confirmed to be in production is also usually kept (see for instance the recent WALL·E AfD) Wikipedia guidelines and policies should be descriptive not perscriptive. Thus I also feel that the extensive justification on the guideline page is unneccessary and unhelpful. Most of the reasoning should be here on the talk page and the guideline itself should be a relatively consise guide to aid article writers and AfD "voters" in assessing notability. Eluchil404 13:59, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

It seems clear to me that so far there has been no concensus, which is why this guideline was stalled. There have been calls from several quarters to reopen the process. Besides, one does not await consensus to make an edit, one edits and then seeks consensus. This is not a revert. This is an attempt to improve. Obviously I expect other edits to occur.
I disagree with the notion that a guideline should not be prescriptive. In fact, all notability guidelines are prescriptive, and by definition must be prescriptive, unless they simply state that "all articles are permitted in any form." However, I've tried to make it clear that this guideline is not overly prescriptive, as it clearly leaves room for articles on literally thousands of films. In fact, this guideline as I presented it is significantly looser than what I'd like to see, but it represents a compromise with those who favor loose standards of notability. Much of its language is maintained from the previous versions, though it's been expanded with clarifying points, and separate treatment for contemporary films and older films. I also hoped to balance my edit, as I tightened some standards, but also added text suggesting resources to help make existing articles fit, rather than exclude them prematurely.
Never deleting a commercially released film seems like a serious problem to me. Such a state is indicative of a problem that a guideline like this should seek to address. It's true that many editors at Wikipedia endorse the inclusion of articles on practically everything, but there are others like me who believe that Wikipedia is excessively flooded with articles on non-notable subjects. There should be some effort to improve the quality of existing articles, and guidelines can help fix this.
Why should all commercially released films be considered inherently notable? Is there really a consensus for such a broadly inclusive standard? Also, which specific notable films do you think would not meet the requirements of this draft of the guideline?
If the preamble asserting the value of a film guideline is deemed inappropriate or unnecessary, I'll remove it, and find a place for it on this talk page.
I'll see if I can find any concrete examples to help focus this discussion, or at least make my intentions clear, though it may take a few days, as I'm semi-burned out. Meanwhile, of course, more opinions would be highly appreciated.zadignose 15:36, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I should also point out that I've left a kind of back door in the form of Wikipedia:Notability_(films)#Other_evidence_of_Notability, which at least allows a case to be made for the notability of a film that doesn't meet the other criteria. This is an attempt to address the concerns of some editors that certain notable films would be inappropriately excluded.zadignose 16:02, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Ok, some comments:

-there is, oddly, nothing said about films which are unfinished, lost or not publicly released. I'd say that it should be made clear that the guidelines in the "Historically Notable films" section apply to them as well. Obviously, it will be far harder for an unreleased films to satisfy such criteria, which should be the point, but there are still a number of films that do satisfy it and which definitely deserve wikipedia articles (eg. Creation (1931 film)).

-I would propose adding one more criterion to "Historically notable films". Something like this:

  • The film was produced by a major film studio (a studio, from any country, attaining major importance and a highly-influential position at some point in history).

Why? Because for some countries, reviews or articles are very hard to find (perhaps because the country is not strongly connected to the internet), so this would serve as a way to quicken things rather than forcing editors to fly there and search that country's archives for mentions of the film. No doubt they would exist, but they are often unreachable for us. I hope that we can agree that if a major studio releases a film, it is quite likely to be notable. For films in the English-speaking world, this criterion would largely be redundant because it would be easy to find articles about such films, but this is often not the case for foreign films. A case in point: It Was I Who Drew the Little Man. A major release by Soyuzmultfilm, directed by the Brumberg sisters (who are notable directors but don't have a wikipedia article yet). Obviously notable, I would argue, but you can't find any articles/reviews if you do a google search on the Russian title. Perhaps someone from Russia with access to a good library will eventually find the article and be able to add some important information to it. Until then, it cannot progress beyond being a stub/start-class article, but isn't it better to have it exist? (Note: This new criterion would only apply to released films. No need to have an article on every film that fell through at a major studio unless it's important and notable in some other way.)

-I suggest that guideline #2 in the "Other evidence of Notability" section be slightly modified to something like this:

  • The film features significant involvement (ie. one of the most important roles in the making of the film) by a notable person whose biographical article includes significant mention of the film.
    • An article on the film should be created only if there is enough information on it that it would clutter up the biography page of that person if it was mentioned there.

I primarily object to "highly notable" - if the person satisfies the criteria at Wikipedia:Notability (people), that should be enough. I honestly don't object so much to the "significant milestone" requirement, but I think that if the person was significantly involved and his article has significant mention of the film, that would already cover that.

Esn 20:15, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I have to disagree with the current proposal. The rewrite made it unnecessarily long, creepy and hard to go through. Dividing released films into contemporary and "historically notable" seems unnecessary. It can also give the idea that a film is notable if it is either new or a classic. I don't see why "released" and "unreleased" are not enough. Prolog 20:52, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Looking through the differences between the requirements for "contemporary" and "historically notable" films - you are right, perhaps there aren't really enough differences to justify separating them. I have no strong position on this one either way, to be honest, so I'll let zadignose answer, and hope some other editors give their opinion as well. I do think that the guidelines as they stand now are much better than they were before and are comparable in length to other notability guidelines. Let's not forget that anyone using this page will only have to read one section of the page (two, at most), so it's really not that long. Esn 21:27, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I've reorganized, merged some ideas, tried to get the most essential guidelines together to avoid the "creep," while retaining a fair amount of explanatory notes in their own sections. I tried to address the "major studios" issue in a new form, in the section Wikipedia:Notability_(films)#Other_evidence_of_Notability. I tried to keep to the stated purpose of this clause, which was to allow coverage of films from countries whose cinema does not have a lot of easily accessed English language documents. Otherwise, if the "major studios" clause is applied to major film producing countries such as the U.S. or Germany, then that would mean that money can automatically buy notability, and every film that ever had the Paramount name attached to it would be deemed notable, even if they somehow failed to meet all of the other guidelines. zadignose 13:32, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Question to all editors (including zadignose)

Of those potential films which would satisfy IMDB's notability criteria, which do you feel should ideally NOT satisfy wikipedia's criteria? I'm just trying to better understand everyone's views on this; I still think that the guideline needs some editing (mainly simplification), and would like to better understand where people stand. Let's say that we're talking only about already-released films (since IMDB is well-known for its unreliability as far as future releases are concerned). I don't want this to be a big argument between editors, I just want to know the range of opinion. As briefly as possible, what would be your ideal "bar of exclusion", and would you be willing to compromise it in either direction? I'll say my own opinion a little bit later. Esn 08:03, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

For the record, I don't think this is the best way to frame the issue. Since guidelines are descriptive rather than perscriptive, we should examine the current practice at AfD and write a guideline that as far as possible mirrors that. But since you asked, I would say that a film release is notable if it meets one of the following criteria: Wide release in a large country, specifically noted in reliable sources as historically influential, winner of a notable award (including Academy award nominees). This is rather tighter, IMHO, than current practice and is especially hard on independent and documentary cinema. I certainly expect any guideline to come out more inclusive in those areas (and maybe others). I would really not be comfortable with it being any tighter. In particular I feel that all large commercial films are notable (yes even Superman IV) and would resist any attempt to limit there inclusion. Eluchil404 08:44, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I keep wanting to respond to this, and I keep not knowing what to say. Well, I guess it's time to hobble together a response. I think I started with very strict notions of what notability should be, and quickly compromised in the face of the fact that the larger wikipedia community doesn't want restrictive standards. In my "ideal" guideline many films would be excluded on the basis of insuficient notability, including many of my own personal favorite films. However, this ideal is not reflected in the current loose guidelines which could probably be boiled down to "if no one has ever heard of it, don't put it in Wikipedia." I wanted to include some consideration of historically notable films, because I do believe that if a film is remembered decades after it was first screened, that suggests its notability more than anything else. I would have liked to be stricter with contemporary films, and fifth sequels of famous films that are for some reason assumed to be notable by association (it seems so to me that such sequels would be better discussed in small capsules within a main article on the first film of the series). I mentioned a lot of films in other parts of this discussion that I personally think are not notable enough to merit an encyclopedia article, and I'll repeat a few here:
These are the kinds of films I'd expect to see in a Maltin's Film Guide all-inclusive collection of little articles about every film ever made. But if I was to write a guide to the art and history of cinema, with a consideration of notability, none of these would stand a chance of being mentioned, let alone featured in their own substantial articles. But again, I recognize that most if not all of these films will pass the standards laid out in this guideline, and I accept that. (Note: the last three titles don't currently have articles, and probably never will, but they came up as an arguement against the standard that automatically grants "notability" to major studio feature releases). Also, you may see my perspective (bias?) here, in that I'd like to be tough on big expensive contemporary films that may have reached a large audience, but have virtually no chance of being remembered as significant to the history of cinema. But if that's a bias, it's not a unique bias. If you ever picked up a book in a bookstore called "notable films," or "films that matter," or "1001 movies to see before you die," or one volume of a major encyclopedia like Britanica, and you found within it an article on Biker Boyz, your jaw would probably hit the floor, wouldn't it? zadignose 18:33, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Notability of actors

They would most likely be covered by new proposal - see Wikipedia_talk:Notability_(artists)#Overlapping_with_similar_guidelines.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:26, 21 February 2007 (UTC)


This page is currently up for debate at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion. The debate looks to be trending keep but there is also some support for tagging the page as historical/rejected. I would prefer the historical tag rather than the rejected one which was recently applied since the main problem with the proposal has been lack of interest and percieved need rather than outright opposition, though the latter also exists. I admit that {{rejected}} applies by its terms but think that the general practice is to use it on pages where there is a rough consensus to reject rather than those like this one where no clear consensus exists. Eluchil404 11:28, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Per WP:POL, a page is rejected by the absence of a supporting consensus, not the presence of a rejecting consensus. >Radiant< 11:40, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
    • I know that's what the policy page says, but I was refering to existing community practice concerning the tags. I would appreciate feedback on that issue otherwise I don't see any difference between {{rejected}} and {{historical}} and will suggest their merger. Eluchil404 13:57, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
      • The difference is that a historical page fizzled out from lack of response, and could easily be reinvigorated if people are interested in it; a rejected page is one that did have quite a lot of response and no consensus (or consensus to the contrary), so bringing in more people to comment on it is not going to accomplish much. >Radiant< 14:10, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
        • Thanks for the answer. I wasn't sure what had changed since November [7]. And I still don't think much has. The proposal was revived and was slowly moving towards a consensus version and then one user found it and had a stronly negative reaction. MfD rejected deletion but was pretty non-commital on the merits of the proposal. I mention tagging as rejected in my comment there, not because I support such an action (I obviously don't) but because deletion isn't called for even if a consensus to reject exists (which I don't think it does). Eluchil404 12:17, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Sorry I'm late to this debate, but I had no idea that the page was being considered for "rejection" (whatever that means on Wikipedia, since we can boldly edit any time we want and remove the tag). Rather than place the rejection tag, I will start to edit the guideline this weekend. As you can see by the Mfd, there are many people who like the guideline, and believe that it has merit. I have used the guideline dozens of times in evaluating indy films, particularly those created by 9/11 conspiracy theory advocates, and found it useful in evaluating their notariety. Please do not place any sort of rejection tag until myself and the other editors voting Keep on the Mfd have had a chance to weigh-in and fix. Thanks.  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 18:24, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Morton you clearly illustrate the problems with not deleting this (a) you say you will just remove the tag, and (b) you are already using a proposed guideline in XfD arguments, when this has no validity. Please see Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines: "A rejected page is any proposal for which consensus support is not present, regardless of whether there's active discussion or not. Consensus need not be fully opposed; if consensus is neutral on the issue and unlikely to improve, the proposal is likewise rejected." A clear consensus at the MfD is to tag this page as rejected, and there is no countervailing consensus to keep here. --Kevin Murray 18:35, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
The clear consensus is for Keep.  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 21:46, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
That's a little unclear. The consensus was to keep for archival purposes but to tag for rejection. Please review the criteria for evaluating rejection. --Kevin Murray 22:21, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
WP:MFD does not WP:OWN articles that it suggests should be developed along a particular route. Any user is free to edit this page however he wishes, as long as it stays within appropriate policies. MFD doesn't make policy. JulesH 09:35, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Please consider the Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines: "A rejected page is any proposal for which consensus support is not present, regardless of whether there's active discussion or not. Consensus need not be fully opposed; if consensus is neutral on the issue and unlikely to improve, the proposal is likewise rejected.". --Kevin Murray 22:28, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
  • "Rejection" means that there is no consensus for the proposal. That there are some people who like it and think it has merit is irrelevant as long as there is no consensus. >Radiant< 09:01, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
    • True but one deeply committed user shouldn't be able to block consensus. All the notability guidelines have critics, some quite shrill. What needs to be determined is whether there is substantial opposition to a guideline in this area (in which case rejection is fine) or to specific facets of the proposal as written (in which case active editing is the best solution). It is honestly not clear to me if either of those is the case here. I don't consider the MfD diffinative in that regard since the status of the proposal was not the main issue. Eluchil404 12:17, 1 March 2007 (UTC)


This proposal does not have consensus. Recently, there has been a fight over whether to tag it as rejected. That is, as unlikely to ever get consensus. Rather than watch an edit war over the tag, I'm posting this RFC.

Two questions:

  1. Do you support this proposal as currently written?
  2. Are you likely to support this proposal with modest modifications?

This is not a vote; it is a solicitation of opinions. Feel free to explain what changes might persuade you to support.

  • Neither. Derex 09:03, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Either Brimba 09:07, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Doesn't seem to be anything wrong with this proposal to me. JulesH 09:32, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • See below. >Radiant< 09:42, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • No to both questions. --Kevin Murray 15:21, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes and Yes. The guideline has been extremely useful for me on dozens of film Afds. If you wish to tweak it, be my guest, but pretending that people don't rely upon it, stomping your feet, and marking it as rejected is not going to work. We all have a stake in the notability issue.  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 18:47, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes and Yes Conditional Yes to both. I think that this should be kept - it's well-formulated and I believe that the alternatives are worse. I think that the notability standards should be similar to those used on IMDB ([8]). However, I'd be willing to compromise and support this if the alternative was to do something like merge it with WP:BK. The criterion for books is a lot more strict than this is and I would not support its application to films. Esn 21:17, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Neither. There was no discussion about this page going from a essay to a proposal, radiant simply made it one. Radiant has done this on many of the newer notability essays.Travb (talk) 01:31, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

m:voting is evil

Really, a binary vote is not going to resolve the issue. Rather, you should look at why people don't agree with this page, and see if you can address those concerns. That's why RFC means "request for comments" rather than "request for votes". >Radiant< 09:42, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Who said it was a vote? The RFC asked two questions. People can answer those questions however they see fit. If we can't ask questions and give answers, then why bother talking at all? Derex 09:48, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • It's not a matter of the terminology you use, but of asking the wrong questions. What you're asking is "do you support this yes/no", whereas you should be asking what people think is wrong with this page and how you can address that. >Radiant< 09:59, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't imagine people need my permission to speak their piece. A whole big talk page has been sitting here for that explicit purpose for over a year now. If you'd like to add an explicit invitation to elaborate to the RFC, feel free. You don't need my permission for that either. Derex 10:12, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Radiant! I am confused, why do you talk so much about consensus now? After all, you upgraded this page from an essay to a proposal, with no consensus, no deliberation, and no discussion on this talk page.
When users question your unilateral decisions, instead of reaching a consensus, you asked for this page, and WP:NN to be protected, which assued that your policy tags, which you unilaterally added, remained.
I am confused. Please explain. Travb (talk) 01:37, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Very simple. Notability-related pages are, almost without exception, guidelines or rejected guidelines. So having one as an "essay" (like this one) is the odd man out. So I figured it should be a proposal to see if there was wider community interest in the page; if there's consensus, it should be a guideline, if not, well, not. Making a proposal IS an attempt at consensus and deliberation, and by definition NOT an unilateral decision. Look in the dictionary; a proposal is NOT a decision, by definition.
  • Oh, and I asked for protection because there was an edit war. Per the protection policy, we protect pages to stop edit wars. Plain and simple. Since I didn't protect the page myself, I could not know in advance which version the page would be protected in. See also m:the wrong version. >Radiant< 09:49, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Here's a thought

We have an already-accepted guideline about books. How about we decide that films follow the same guideline as books, and rename the latter to "books and films"? It may need a bit of tweaking to account for writers vs. directors and such, but the concept sounds workable. >Radiant< 11:35, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

That would be pretty much fine as regards to the major criteria, though the rest of WP:BK is pretty irrelevant to films as it stands. The bigger reason that I would prefer a seperate page is that I think AfD "voters" use slightly different standards when it comes to books and films. In my view, the purpose of these notability sub-pages is to give general guidelines to the current climate on AfD so that people can quickly determine whether an article on a subject is likely to be kept or deleted or what information to include to clearly assert notability. That's why I originally tagged it as an essay 8 months ago; it was ment to be purely descriptive information rather than hortatory instruction. No matter the fate of this page--deletion, rejection, or redirect--people will continue use thier established heuristics on AfD articles about films. They certainly weren't created by this occaisionally cited page and they won't be destroyed with it. If the community feels that it is not a useful summation of current practice then it may well be swept up into the dustbin of history, but rallying against the content isn't very useful. If it's an accurate description, you'll have to convince AfD "voters" who don't generally read this talk page; if it's not then you can (and should) simply change it and explain why. Eluchil404 12:00, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

AfD (Second)

RE: Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Notability (films)

Lets all keep in mind that the nominator withdrew the AfD nomination on the condition that this article be marked as {{:Rejected}} and kept for historical interest.

Maybe it was a mistake for this page to remain on wikipedia.

Ultimately, I would like this page tagged as a rejected policy, as per the consensus/majority (?) on the recent AfD.

That is my first choice, as was the choice on the first AfD. But since it looks like this will never happen without a prolonged edit war, I unfortunatly think this page should be deleted. Sorry User:Eluchil404.

[[User:Radiant!]] was the person who asked for this page to be protected.

[[User:Radiant!]] was also the person who upgraded this essay to a proposal.[9] Against the original authors orginal intentions? (Can you please clarify User:Eluchil404):

That's why I originally tagged it as an essay 8 months ago; it was ment to be purely descriptive information rather than hortatory instruction. User:Eluchil404 12:00, 1 March 2007

There was little if no discussion about this change, the talk page shows no consensus. Discussion started around Febuary.

Personally, I think before a page becomes policy or a guidline there should at least be a strawpoll. Maybe eventually this should be policy, that before all pages become a policy, guideline, official policy, etc, there should be a month long strawpoll. Travb (talk) 21:01, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

We just had a "straw poll", it's called an Afd, and the "delete" position lost miserably.  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 21:14, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Morton, you are far smarter than to misinterpret the results of that MfD as consensus to support anything other than archiving this page. Read the guidelines for rejecting, clearly a tie goes to rejection. And this behavior will be strong evidence at the next MfD for deleting and salting a rejected guideline. You are postponing the inevitable for a few days here, but supporting my position for the longer run. 1/2 smart in whole. Thanks! --Kevin Murray 21:21, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I think we should try to get more opinions on that RFC you posted from the general WPFilms community. Currently the votes are around 4 in support, 3 against. By the way, there's currently a discussion going on at Wikipedia talk:Notability/overview that may make all of this moot. Esn 21:22, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
And at WP:N talk where the conversation is spilling into the validity of subpages and of notability as a valid concept. --Kevin Murray 21:32, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
In regards to "spilling into other pages" see: Wikipedia:Notability (academics). It went from an "essay" to a "policy" by Radiant!, with to my knowledge, no discussion on the talk page. Travb (talk) 01:13, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • See previous section. (1) In case of edit wars, pages are protected. (2) Making a proposal is, by sheer definition, not a decision but a request for community input. (3) Please check out the history of Wikipedia:Notability (academics) and you'll notice that (A) it was never an essay, (B) it is not policy now, and (C) there is plenty of discussion on its talk page. >Radiant< 09:52, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I explained myself a pretty great length over at Wikipedia talk:Notability/overview. I don't now and never did own this page. I understood the retagging of this page to be part of a decision to make all the notability subpages into proposals that would be formally evaluated by the community for consensus. I was unsure of its wisdom then, and clearly think that it was now mistaken (they should all probably have a status akin to essays but perhaps a custom tag). As for the MfD (please don't call it AfD) it is irrelevant to determining the consensus on this page. Without canvassing the "voters" one can't determine how many, as I did, worded there votes assuming (rather than deciding) that the proposal lacked support in oder to show that the nomination should fail even if the rationale that the proposal was deeply flawed was correct. Eluchil404 12:21, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

  • There has never been, to my knowledge, a "decision to make all the notability subpages into proposals that would be formally evaluated by the community for consensus", and that line of reasoning directly contradicts WP:POL and WP:BURO. >Radiant< 13:48, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Then what was your rationale for tagging it as a proposal? Why are essays on subject area notability depreciated?[10] Eluchil404 14:03, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
      • The rationale was, quite simply, that it was a proposed guideline. Read WP:POL for the difference between a guideline and an essay; and compare this page to existing guidelines to see the similarities. Essays aren't depreciated, they simply aren't listed on a template that is intended as a list of guidelines. >Radiant< 14:08, 2 March 2007 (UTC)


To end protection a decision needs to be made on a stable tag for this page. I'll list what I see as options with some breif commentary :


Works if there is no consensus. I am honestly not sure if the useage and commentary support this (cf. Wikipedia talk:Notability), but it may be the best option in the end.


Probably not correct given the level of discussion in the last few days, but maybe a compromise (cf. Wikipedia talk:Semi-protecting policy pages)


May not be appropriate given the content (was tag on original version of this page).


If page reflects current practice it is a de facto guideline and should be so-tagged. I doubt it is ready for this.

A custom tag such as

This page is not a policy or guideline of the Endlish Wikipedia but instead a description how the guideline on notability is applied in practice. It may not represent the consensus of all editors but gives a rough guide to outcomes at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion. This page is not actionable and should not be used as a reason in a deletion debate unless you believe that it is an accurate corollary of WP:N. If the page does not accord with consensus you should edit it or inquire on the talk page.
This would be my personal preference, and also for all the subject specific notability criteria.
  • Regarding this custom tag, "It may not represent the consensus of all editors but gives a rough guide to outcomes at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion" is an oxymoron, "not actionable" is false, "should not be used as a reason" is both prescriptive (which is bad) and unenforceable (making it pointless), and you omit the fact that many other "subject specific notability criteria" have been accepted guidelines for years now, and several of those predate WP:N. >Radiant< 15:01, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

No tag

If it's good enough for WP:SNOW.  :-)
  • Okay. This is obviously not an essay, as explained earlier. It's also not inactive, given the traffic here. It is a proposed guideline, and the question is whether (1) there's consensus for what the page says, and (2) a need for this to be on a separate page. The easy solution, therefore, is to use the already-accepted criteria for BOOKS. Rename Wikipedia:Notability (books) to "books and films" and add a few lines to that, redirect this there, and we're all set. >Radiant< 14:58, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
    • How about "Literature and film" --Kevin Murray 15:18, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
      • Also possible, except that it also applies to books that aren't literature. >Radiant< 16:22, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
        • OK, not so easy. Here's a riddle, what contains fiction, literature, books, films, and TV and can fit in a short snappy title? --Kevin Murray 23:59, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
          • "Works". Nifboy 17:57, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Guideline tag. In wide usage. Don't you dare downgrade.  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 18:02, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Until an agreement is reached, perhaps the custom tag mentioned above might be a good idea, as this seems to be the actual situation at the moment. It's also a compromise, and it does mention that it is used on AFD discussions, which is generally the case. The "rejected" template should be replaced to make it clear that it's not a "dead" proposal but one that's still up for debate. By the way, why isn't {{Proposed}} an option? Esn 10:15, 16 March 2007 (UTC)


I've added a merge tag to this page. Kevin has reverted that, because he considers the merge pointless. I believe it would be useful to merge this page to WP:BK, as suggested earlier on the page. At the very least, this could be discussed for a while. >Radiant< 10:09, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, I'm going to come out with a strong opposition to this proposal. As I said earlier, if it's a choice between merging with WP:BK and keeping it as it is, I much prefer it as it now stands. WP:BK is much more strict than this guideline and if you read the discussions that have been going on over the past two months you will see that most of the objections were about this guideline being too strict. It was carefully toned down to make it more inclusive, but still not enough for about half of the editors, it seems. Making it even more restrictive will accomplish nothing except making a lot of people very angry. Esn 10:12, 16 March 2007 (UTC)


User:Radiant! requested a third opinion on the matter of the inclusion or otherwise of the rationale for rejection on a number of project pages. I believe that given this is quoting directly from WP:POL, this is duplication, and is not necessary. However, if User:Kevin Murray feels that other editors may be in doubt over the matter of why the pages are considered rejected, it may be appropriate to leave a note on this talk page. Chris cheese whine 10:42, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

It's a ridiculous notion to say that this guideline has been rejected by the community -- that's a one-man campaign by Murray. The guideline is well-regarded, and used in dozens and dozens of Afds. There was a clear consensus for Keep on the recent Afd at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Notability (films).  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 22:57, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
I have no opinion on the actual rejection. My opinion was provided in response to an edit war over the text of the rejection message only. Chris cheese whine 23:03, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, it was at least appealed to frequently, most often by people who falsely called it a guideline despite a clear lack of consensus and an explicit proposal label. The Keep on the AFD was very explicitly not a debate on the merits of the proposal, and you know this perfectly well. Derex 23:05, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
The consensus at the AfD page was to tag this as rejected but keep as archival rather than my preference which was to delete the page. There was clearly no overwhelming support for adopting this as a guideline, and consensus for rejection does not require a majority. --Kevin Murray 23:11, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Morton, there is wisdom in the concept that: those who govern least are those who govern best. Take as analogies governance in economics, where complex social engineering often has unintended consequences, where more laws create less order. In the US we have experienced a plethora of social failures caused by idealists liberally creating complex and conflicting rule sets. However, we so frequently benefit when more conservative legislators reduce the complexity of systems such as welfare and tax codes.

I see a parallel danger of naïve Wikipedians introducing pages of essentially repetitive guidelines, where the value added does not justify the cost from confusion and conflict. Permutations will tend to grow as successive groups of well intentioned rule-makers address more and more specific issues, each page evolving independently without collective oversight.

Please consider how your goals can be achieved working inside the WP:N guideline through fine tuning and better training of the writers and AfD evaluators. --Kevin Murray 15:30, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

This is a useful guideline, especially for areas where fringe theoriets are astroturfing to promote their product. It usefully expresses a widely-held view about one threshold for inclusion. People use it and cite it in AfD discussions. I don't think it has been rejected by the community. Tom Harrison Talk 22:02, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Tom, can you site some specific instances where the "astroturfing" contributions would not be deleted based on WP:N? --Kevin Murray 01:11, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with Tom Harrison here on the use of this proposed guideline. Here is my understanding of things happening here, and the direction this project is going. My overall concern is that Wikipedia (users and all) are slowly being conditioned to accept anything that is written outside this project, and that some users feel that it is time for a change. In other words, "It’s out there, so we should have it here." Really? This encyclopedia unfortunately is dealing with the floodgates ever increasingly opening with bombardment of articles of trivial movies, documentaries (especially the ones made up in school one day), etc. A true encyclopedia standard would not allow the trivial articles about non-notables to be included. By definition, we are an encyclopedia, not a catch-all for anything which has little or virtually no following. For AfD, we really need more stringent guides and policies. I am surprised Notability (films) isn’t a full fledged guide, or even better, a policy. JungleCat Shiny!/Oohhh! 01:46, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Rom Harrison and Junglecat. It is not a rejected proposal, notability guidelines should be strengthened across the board, it should be labeled a guideline or at least a proposal. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:41, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh, please, must we trot out the same argument between the deletionists and inclusionists again? You know fully well that your view is not accepted by everyone, so please don't act like those who favour looser notability standards are traitors to the project. Wikipedia is a unique project, and is not be any means an encyclopedia in the traditional sense of the word (any more than eBay is a traditional auction). There are some who view notability as being basically the practical limit to which something can be reliably verified (WP:V). I'm not sure if I'm yet willing to go quite that far but, in the words of another user, "I find it a vital service for Wikipedia to bring me information on life's obscure topics". I think there are very few people here who would favour the inclusion of every single film that someone made at school one day, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of support for the opposite option (of only including major film releases) either. My own ideal scenario would be something similar to the IMDB criteria (which also doesn't list "films made in school one day"), but I can live with the guideline as it stands now. Even though Kevin Murray might well be raising a valid point. Esn 04:40, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Okay, why are we still in protected mode?  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 03:06, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

This was resoundingly rejected and is only being promoted by zealots. Please leave the protection in-place to prevent the inevitable reoccurrence of perennial reversions. --Kevin Murray 03:29, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

That's realy uncalled for, and inaccurate.  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 21:31, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not a PC kind of guy. I'm sorry that you've taken offense, but I do stand behind my characterization of your actions and tactics. If you are going to be deceitfully zealous in your actions, be proud of the title that accompanies the style.--Kevin Murray 21:45, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
You're on very thin ice here, both in your interactions with me, and with your mischaracterizations of consensus. There is no support for your perspective on this guideline -- you stand alone.  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 07:14, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Denial or charade? Do you read or just write? --Kevin Murray 07:20, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the protection should be removed. Tom Harrison Talk 12:21, 3 April 2007 (UTC)


There seems to be concensus from multiple people that this should be at the least a guideline. I retagged it. - Denny 20:07, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. Thanks.  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 22:01, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

No there is plenty of opposition to this as a guideline. --Kevin Murray 21:39, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Seems like many people here on this page support it? - Denny 22:00, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
If there were broad support for what you want to do, you would not need to revert to impose your preference, or to modify Template:Rejected to include that preachy commentary. Tom Harrison Talk 22:14, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Gentlemen, spin this however you like, but there has been plenty of oppostion expressed in the discussion above and at the AfD, but it has not been as organized as your persistence. --Kevin Murray 22:29, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I guess organization is key. Tom Harrison Talk 22:36, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
To be fair, that was the first time that user Kevin Murray has contacted me about this. The only other time he contacted me was to post a "courtesy notice" about this page's deletion. As such, I don't think you can write off all of the opposition above to the existence of a cabal. (Just saying) Esn 22:52, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Having read the guideline it seems uncontroversial and pretty much in line with what other topic-specific guidelines say. There should be information on films that cross any of the inclusion hurdles. It may not be easy to find, but it'll be out there somewhere. WP:NOT#When you wonder what to do says to "ask yourself what a reader would expect to find under the same heading in an encyclopedia". In an encyclopedia of cinema, I'd expect to find a short entry on award winning, critically acclaimed, and otherwise significant films, and that's what this guideline says we should have. Angus McLellan (Talk) 22:26, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Angus, if it says the same thing all over again, then why do we need it? --Kevin Murray 22:30, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Can you explain why we have such a policy for everything else BUT films? - Denny 22:40, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Denny, I don't believe that we have a specific policy for everything else but films. We have an excellent and improving guideline at WP:N, which adequately covers most topics. I don't believe that we need more than that; and I would support eliminating some of the redundant or conflicting rule-sets. I would prefer a well constructed general guideline, which I think is evolving nicely at WP:N and simplify the rat's nest of superfluous special case rules. More rules seldom makes for more clarity. --Kevin Murray 22:51, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Can I ask why you don't actively pursue depricating the fiction, books, and music guidelines then? Why focus on this one with such vigor? - Denny 23:00, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Denny, this was never approved before, and was tagged as rejected from proposed status. It should not go directly from rejected to approved. My stance has been primarily to prevent further instruction creep. Right now there is a good deal of dissention about notability in general. My efforts have been to retain the status quo rather than to roll-back what was already approved, although I think that is a good next step. --Kevin Murray 23:06, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
It was never rejected, that was just pure Kevin Murray fantasy. See Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Notability (films) where it was 20 'keeps' and 3 'rejects' and 3 'indeterminate/undecided'. Hardly a rejection of the guideline -- more like a strong endorsement.  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 23:14, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
A bit of spin from Morty in consistent fashion. The AfD was over whether to delete the page not to reject it. The resounding consensus was to keep the page and tag it as rejected. I felt that if the page was not deleted the controversy would never go away. It was marked for rejection, but not deleted. As I predicted it has been a perennial battleground ever since. --Kevin Murray 23:18, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Dear Reader: See Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Notability (films) and judge for yourself.  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 23:31, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
My God Morty, have you not one single shred of shame? The MFD had not one single thing to do with approval of the proposal, and many of those voting keep explicitly endorsed the rejected tag. 10:01, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Who supports this and why?

I do, seems like a good idea in principle and fair. It needs to be in line with the other guidelines such as the BIO and music notability, however. This one seems a bit more stringent than those for some inexplicable reason. Will edit that later. - Denny 23:05, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

I've now standardized this guideline to be in line with long-accepted ones such as the music and book notability guidelines. This one can't be any more stringent or lax than those. Should be fine now. :) - Denny 23:49, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Denny, is it possible that since these three guidelines/proposals are very similar, they could be merged into one? This would reduce my concern. --Kevin Murray 23:52, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that stuff is too different. Billboard standings vs. coverage of a film vs. coverage/awards for books are seperate beasts. I think a general one would be good, but someone needs to draw up such a thing. In the meanwhile, I see no harm in the seperate ones. The ATT of notability for media? - Denny 23:57, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I personally generally support this without the PNC tag. --badlydrawnjeff talk 03:00, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Template:pnc nominated for deletion

See Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Template:pnc for the debate. --Kevin Murray 18:09, 16 April 2007 (UTC)


It seems that this project has died. Should it be marked with the historical tag?

I think another way to look it is no one has objected, so it should be moved from proposal to guideline. Are there any objections to this, and if so what? -- Rick Block (talk) 18:44, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
I think Rick's suggestion is quite reasonable. Of course the text can always be tweaked later if need be. >Radiant< 09:41, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
This seems like reverse logic to me that lack of interest demonstrates acceptance. I oppose this. --Kevin Murray 12:37, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, we know you've been objecting to this mostly on bureaucratic grounds from the very start. Do you have any arguments as to the content of the page? >Radiant< 12:40, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
This is one of the longest specific guidelines written. It is verbose, overly complex, poorly organized, potentially confusing, and does more to add subjectivity than to cure it. The simple advice from WP:N should be sufficient to determine whether a film is notable: has it been recognized by a significant number of other sources upon which we can rely for an indication of notability and for verifiable information? Short of these we risk our editors writing personal reviews and/or just summarizing plots from the work (original research and POV). This is a project seeking a need. --Kevin Murray 12:53, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
  • That would appear to be your standard objection to every notability guideline. >Radiant< 12:55, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I've got an objection - apparently this would mark most modern films seen by millions of people, for example Spider-Man 3, as non-notable, because they're not 5 years old yet. Frankly, most big-budget films are inherently notable due to the sheer number of their expected audiences. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 12:59, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
    • I think you are perhaps misreading the guideline; surely such films would have received non-trivial coverage in multiple reliable sources. -- Visviva 13:36, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
    • Current practice is certainly not to delete articles about such movies, so the guideline should make this clear. I'll take a stab at a clarification. -- Rick Block (talk) 13:47, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
  • As someone not involved in the process heretofore, I agree that this should become a guideline... it could use a bit of an edit (as the misunderstanding above makes clear), but basically reflects community norms and practices in a nuanced way. -- Visviva 13:36, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
    • Oh yeah for the record the section "guideline" should have a different section header, and the page could stand some snipping. >Radiant< 14:07, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
      • I would rather see fewer than more guidelines. Merge this with the guideline for books. Have a paragraph or two with the basic notability criteria which have been hammered out here in the "film" section of a WP:BOOKS&FILM or some such guide. As is there is a rambling introduction in each which repeats info from other policies and guidelines, which themselves change constantly. My usual problem with proliferating guidelines is that people who LIKE the subject of the guidelines want to write in inherent notability for cruft which lacks multiple independent reliable sources with substantial coverage, whether it be roads, nobility, videogame characters, or whatever. This guide seems perhaps a little more balanced with the (for Wikipedia) harsh 5 year provision. Edison 14:10, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
        • That would also be very workable. I believe I've suggested the same about a month ago. >Radiant< 14:16, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
        • I also support this approach, if the additional rules make sense. --Kevin Murray 14:18, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I object to demoting this guideline in any fashion. This guideline is in wide use. Please stop reviving this pet idea for the umpteenth time.  MortonDevonshire  Yo  · 14:58, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Plug the loopholes

This proposal has some merit, to make more straightforward of the keeping of notable films and the deletion of non-notable films in AFDs. I think including a paragraph in a more general guideline, and merging with a guideline for books would be better than a standalone guideline, because we have to keep changing the boilerplate in this as people edit WP:N and WP:A. That said, I see loopholes which would allow one or a few people to "game the system" and claim notability for films they like or which make some fringe political or scientific point, whether it is about 9/11, the Kennedy assassination, the moon landing, or whatever. My objection is that it turns over notability determination to any individual or small group one who organizes a "festival" without specifying the festival itself is somehow notable, neutral and well juried, or any one person who teaches a film course:

  • "1)The film was given a commercial re-release, or screened in a festival, at least five years after initial release."

The "Moon is made of green cheese" society could hold a little-noted mooncheese festival and screen some absolute nutjob films which present evidence that supports their lunatic fringe beliefs (substitute any fringe theory). There is no specification in this guideline to distinguish a nutjob fringe festival from the Cannes Film Festival. This could then be cited to justify the film having an article.

  • "4)The film is "taught" as a subject at an accredited university or college with a notable film program." The word "notable" helps here, because otherwise any instructor at a country's least known college could "teach" the aforementioned green cheese film and that could be cited as a basis for inclusion. This still leaves it up to the single most fringe teacher at any of the schools with "notable" film programs (a subjective determination) to decide on his own what film he will make entitled to a Wikipedia article.
  • My suggestion is to add some suitable qualifier to prevent the action of an individual who chooses the films for a festival, or an individual who teaches a film course, from having as much power to determine notability as this gives them. Newspapers and books are not "reliable sources" unless they have editorial oversight; that is why self published books, IMDB, and personal blogs are not reliable sources, since the one editor can say anything. The present wording of these gives one or a few festival organizers, or one film teacher too much power.Edison 13:59, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I would support a concise actionable guideline which combined with books. --Kevin Murray 14:13, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

New approach

Looking at this proposed guideline closely and from reading some of the comments above, it seems to be an attempt to change current practice at AFD rather than reflect established practice. While I sympathize with this intent, I strongly suspect it is completely unworkable. There can never be enough participants in a discussion about a guideline before it's approved to warrant instituting a new guideline that does not reflect current practice. The reason to codify a guideline is not to change existing practice, but to make it obvious to all concerned what is the current practice. Per the comment just above, I've added a criteria that applies to essentially any contemporary "major" release. Attempting to exclude the bulk of contemporary films simply because they won't have enduring notability is (IMO) not appropriate. Wikipedia is full of articles on all topics that will turn out to have been of contemporary interest, but lack enduring notability. Perhaps a way to address this is to have different criteria for films more than five years old supporting the deletion of articles about the majority of films which do not have enuring notability. In any event, I think trying to exclude contemporary films is wholely impractical. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:14, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I like the clarification, although I think that was already covered to some degree through the reference to the Primary Notability Criterion. -- Visviva 15:10, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Edit for style and brevity

Could someone go through this to get rid of the "note this" and "note that" in the opening paragraphs and cut out the redundancy and verbosity? This needs to be about 50% shorter and less subjective. Whatever I do to edit it will be suspect, but this is really a pretty embarassing example of poor word crafting. Then I really coudn't care less whether this becomes a guideline, policy or stone tablets. --Kevin Murray 01:56, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, the whole intro is a word for word copy from Wikipedia:Notability (books) which seems at best redundant. I agree it's overly wordy. I'll try to edit it down to size. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:12, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
It's significantly less wordy now (comments?). I think various other sections could stand to be edited as well. -- Rick Block (talk) 04:21, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Wow, great trim job on the intro! Do we need so much instruction on the special cases such as "future films", "reflection of existing standards", and contemporaray versus older? How could we achieve the same purpose with less narative (or none)? Maybe we could give a similar pruning to Books. --Kevin Murray 09:54, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Accept as Guideline

Since this has been substanially reworked, I propose that this be accepted as a guideline; however, I strongly suggest that we continue to consider how we can merge books and films for brevity and continuity. --Kevin Murray 17:47, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree with Kevin. It is time for this to go live. But that doesn't mean it should become static. Further improvements to wording (or changes to reflect evolving consensus) are always welcome. Eluchil404 20:36, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Done. Indeed, improvements are welcome, and I have no objection to the merge suggested earlier. >Radiant< 12:34, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Revise "Future films, incomplete films, and undistributed films" criteria

Because of a number of problems and concerns raised by the creation of pages for films which were announced or under development and subsequently have not gone into production, I'd like to add a criterion regarding future films, namely:

Films which have not been confirmed by reliable sources to have already begun shooting should not have their own articles. Discussion of such films should be limited to the relevant articles on the source material and/or filmmakers until commencement of shooting is confirmed. (Note that this means that if a film is announced that it should begin shooting in April 2008, and May 2008 rolls around without any news confirming that shooting has begun, the article should not be created. Sources should confirm the start after the fact.)

Comments? Girolamo Savonarola 19:40, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

  • I don't agree. The section now only suggests inclusion for when the production itself is notable, and a notable production which failed to produce a film would probably be an even more interesting story. To try to micro manage as suggewsted could be problematic. Do we have an actual problem which this is trying to remedy? --Kevin Murray 19:51, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
See User:Bignole/Future_films_and_reference_guidelines - I happen to concur with this analysis. Put it another way - should we have a page for every failed novel under development? If these films go on into production, then they're gonna be articles anyway. If not, they should remain under mention at another page (such as their source material). Most of the time they contain very little substantive information other than cast/crew and a very cursory plot glance. Girolamo Savonarola 19:57, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
See also: Relevant discussion at Wikipedia talk:Citing IMDb#Release years, two future film articles - A Christmas Carol (2009 film) (discussion) and Silent Hill 2 (film) (discussion), and one speculated film at The Thetan, which actually avoided deletion. Another item is my list of redirected projects here of film articles that have been created by others and have needed to be merged/redirected elsewhere due to inactivity. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 21:05, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Is than a support vote? :) Girolamo Savonarola 21:07, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually, in spite of my complaints about the creation of articles about future films, I generally tend to wait for a three-point criteria to create a film article -- establishment of a director, establishment of a cast, and establishment of a production start date that is in the near future, generally 2-3 months. I've created a number of film articles, such as Valkyrie following this criteria, and it's worked because it's pretty much set in stone. Very few films I've encountered, if any, fail to take off when the above-mentioned criteria is met. I guess I'd prefer some kind of middle ground between the very liberal "When a possible film project is announced" and the stringent-seeming "Only after filming has begun". —Erik (talkcontrib) - 21:22, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm just skeptical about the need for a film article when the cameras haven't even begun rolling - how much information could there possibly be at that point which would be both notable and difficult to retrieve later? Girolamo Savonarola 23:29, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
A good example is The Dark Knight a well-maintained article that started filming in mid-April. This is the revision of the article before cameras started rolling. In addition, if a film is slated to be produced very soon, project history can be pretty extensive to cover. I collect headlines for the eventual creation of film articles, so an example of an article with long development history to cover would be this: User:Erik/Future articles#Shazam! (based on Captain Marvel). Just providing an idea of the information available. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 22:25, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
  • When in doubt apply WP:N, if it has substantial independent references and enough verifiable information to write an article start typing. --Kevin Murray 01:02, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
That would be fine and well except for the fact that this is the notability policy for these topics. That's why we're discussing this. Girolamo Savonarola 02:27, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

As a pre-existing example of a how this can be done properly would be at X-Men film series - there are two proposed spinoff films with a fair amount of well-referenced information, but both are currently contained there for the moment. This is ideal, as it prevents potential perma-stubs from existing - especially if the films aren't ever shot - and also enhances the quality of the film series article. Of course, should the cameras start to roll, it is very easy to then split these sections off. Girolamo Savonarola 21:45, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Before X-Men film series#Future existed, the spinoff sections had their own articles at Magneto (film) and Wolverine (film), then the content was merged to Magneto (comics) and Wolverine (comics), respectively. The film series article was created recently, so it served as a better umbrella. Similar future film discussion has been placed similarly, too, such as Spider-Man 4 with Spider-Man film series#Future, Jurassic Park IV with Jurassic Park franchise#Future, and Untitled Underworld prequel with Underworld (series)#Future. Just some further examples to point out. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 21:57, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I was not aware of that. However, I think that's the case in point, no? :) Girolamo Savonarola 22:01, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Just providing examples of how the technique has worked before. Not contrasting you in the slightest. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 22:18, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Attempt to add, reversion, more discussion

I'm being bold and adding this, but feel free to continue the discussion... Girolamo Savonarola 01:07, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

  • There is no consensus for the change. Adding complicated rule sets when there is no isssue just creates confusing rules. --Kevin Murray 01:31, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
What's complicated about don't add an article until the cameras roll? Frankly, the older lack of rules was more ambiguous and vague - "don't add productions unless the production (production or production stage, really?) is notable". And referring back to the generalities of WP:N and CRYSTAL is not a response - the whole reason why notability subsections exist is to be more precise with particular classes of articles where WP:N could not possibly be. There is a clear problem with this, and we need transparent guidelines. This is what Bignole and Erik have been drawing attention to in the recent months. Girolamo Savonarola 01:34, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

There is no reason for these four paragraphs of rules that you just added without support: Films which have not been confirmed by reliable sources to have already begun shooting should not have their own articles. If the film's source material already has an article, then the film may be written about in that article until commencement of shooting is confirmed. A good example of this is the X-Men film series article (as of July 2007), which includes well-referenced sub-sections for the announced-but-yet-unshot Wolverine and Magneto spinoffs. Should these films go into production, the sections may be split into their own film articles.

This guideline exists because, as has been documented in the past, articles have been created on "sure thing" productions, only to see the films stall or fall through prior to production for any number of reasons. The nature of the film industry means that far more films will stall at development - and sometimes even between the greenlight and production - than will ever be shot. The start of production is therefore considered a reliable indicator of a film that will be completed, because it automatically unleashes a number of costs in both equipment and contractual obligations which make the likelihood of abandonment past that point extremely financially unsound.

It should also be noted if, for example, a film is announced to begin shooting in April 2008, and May 2008 rolls around without any news confirming that shooting has begun, the article should not be created. Sources need to confirm the start after it has begun.

These guidelines can be considered the film articles' corollary to Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. Additionally, articles on films that have gone into production, but have not yet been publicly released (either theatrically or direct-to-video) are generally not appropriate unless the film in itself is already notable in some way that meets current notability guidelines. Similarly, films produced in the past, which were either not completed, or not distributed, are generally not appropriate unless special circumstances render their failure notable. --Kevin Murray 01:40, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

There is a difference between the length of the rule and the length of text to explain or elaborate on it. Many of our policies have very simple "nutshell" cores with copiously more detailed sections to explain how it should be implemented and why. I don't think that's unreasonable. Girolamo Savonarola 01:49, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Personally I feel that the state of our rules at WP is abhorrent and mired in ego driven over verbosity. The existence of garbage does not justify more of the same. I think this is much ado about nothing, but if you have to say that: "There are will be no articles allowed about films which have not yet been released", just say that and I'll shut-up. But don't belabor the issue with four unneeded paragraphs. Please. --Kevin Murray 02:02, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
I wish it were as simple as that too. Unfortunately, what is obvious to some is not to all. Guidelines need to be explained either through reference to other guidelines or within their own page. And I can assure you - as I'm certain you may suspect already - that this is not a minor guideline, and there will be much unneeded discussion about the where's and why's if we don't clarify. All I have done is explain the reason for the guideline and what someone who is dying to write about a film that is reference-able but yet unshot can do. It helps to have some clear examples, too.
If you have an objection about my prose, it certainly isn't perfect and I encourage you to copy-edit it. If you have an objection to the guideline in and of itself, then let's discuss here. But you seem to be arguing neither, instead telling me that I have written "too many notes!" ;) Let's not delete or revert a decent guideline over that. Your personal wiki-philosophy aside. Girolamo Savonarola 02:08, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
I believe the paragraphs are there to illustrate a point. Many times editors don't understand things and they need to be explained. If it was as simple as "if it isn't released then it cannot have an article", then I think Aquaman (TV program) would have had a hard time getting FA status since it's a television pilot that was never released. Also, look at the new J.J. Abrams film, the untitled monster film. That like just entered production but has had so much buzz that it would easily pass notability criteria. It isn't that a film article shouldn't be created till it is released, because I think The Dark Knight (film) might have trouble fitting on the Batman page, but when the article should be created. Do you create it when the film is announced? Do you create it when they release the film? Do you create it when they have entered production? What about a few weeks before production? What if we have a lot of information, nothing repeated, no speculation, all reliable sources but the production hasn't started yet? Not quite as simple as the "don't create till it's released" idea. Films are garnering more and more publicity in the early stages of development then they ever did before, and that is the reason we are having an over abundance of newly created articles that either get speedied, prodded, merged or AfD's. Sometimes it isn't as simple as "oh it has a bunch of reliable sources". Well, what are those sources saying? Can the article be summarized better so that you don't have to repeated yourself, and thus the info can be merged to a larger topic? The question is really, do simple announcements of "will do", "has joined", "started writing" constitute a reason to create an article? What are we actually trying to say. CRYSTAL only says that it should only be created if there is absolute verification that it will be released. There are instances where a film not released could warrant its own page, but I would assume that is more in line with films that entered production and then just stopped for one reason or another. So if WP:CRYSTAL is only wanting some kind of reliable evidence that says the film will be released, what evidence could be considered concrete enough to warrant a separate article?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:18, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

If I didn't indicate it before, I would like to assert my support for clearer wording of when it is most appropriate to establish a stand-alone article about a film. While I think that Girolamo's proposal may have been too wordy, I think the language can be more succinct. There needs to be clarity established about when the article should be created among the stages of film production. It seems late to create a film article when filming begins, with plenty of coverage of the project before the matter. The Lovely Bones (film) is a good example of this. The director is established, the main cast is established, and the production start date is established in the near future. This kind of criteria ensures production of the film for a significant percentage of the time. The criteria is more significant than just having a director attached to the project, because the person who has the helm can change frequently before a film begins. Kevin, if we are not pursuing an amendment to the notability guideline in the correct manner, please inform us of the appropriate steps. I'm sure we don't mind a larger discussion about this. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 02:49, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

  • If there really is a bona fide problem with articles about unmade films, I'll support an amendment to the guideline. The procedure has been correctly followed so far in proposing, being bold and going back to discussion. I generally oppose unneeded rule creep, but will support succinct and clear rules when needed. I do object to crowding unclear thoughts with examples etc. I believe in short direct and actionable guidelines or rules. Can we do it in half the text? Let's see where this goes. --Kevin Murray 03:09, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Look at the logs for Superman Returns sequel, Untitled Superman Returns sequel, Superman: The Man of Steel, Superman: The Man of Steel (2009 film). Some of these were deleted, some have redirects. But looking at the logs for a film that has no director (as Singer has not been officiall resigned), no script, no official production start date, it shows there is a problem with people creating pages at the whiff that a studio claims they will make another film. Now this is only one film, but the various alterations of the title (there are more, I just couldn't remember every different variation off the top of my head) just to create an article should be a hint as to what some will go through because they think if a studio says "We're going to make another film" that it's the word of God. Superman Returns took almost 20 years itself to get made, so it isn't as simple as a studio saying they will make a film, and I think the guideline should clearer on when an article should be created. Although, I think WP:CRYSTAL could probably be amended to be just a tad bit more clear, or at least have a link to a place where it gives a better description (like WP:CRYSTAL linking to a section on this page).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 03:24, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Since I'm approaching 3RR, I would rather not revert my edits (at least not today). What I'd like to propose is that one of you reverts my paragraphs back and and then we can all start revising as need be towards an acceptable compromise.
And as for when to allow the article, I think that the Superman (and Spiderman) histories are perfectly good reasons to keep film articles rolled into their source material prior to filming. Heck, even The Lovely Bones article seems to show that there were a lot of setbacks that could've potentially killed the project. There's no reason why an article relatively short like that can't still remain within the source article, especially if the guideline already recommends it.
Furthermore, it must be remembered that there are still plenty of released films that need articles, and no one seems to be crying much over these "lost" articles. Why, then, is it "too late to begin a film article when the filming begins"? While I agree that there are some interesting points involving preproduction and development which would ideally be in a film FA, oftentimes these unreleased film articles end up becoming excellently referenced litanies of "near-misses" in casting, crew, and production. As stated before, these can be retained within other articles if there is interest, and split as productions commence.
Anyway, those are my ramblings... :) Girolamo Savonarola 03:33, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the revert, Kevin. I appreciate the compromise! :) Girolamo Savonarola 04:09, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Comment: I've read over the guidelines as written, and I agree that it's too wordy. I also think that "when shooting starts" is too arbitrary, since as Erik has stated above a film is well in place long before cameras are rolling. My personal thought is that as long as there's coverage in multiple reliable sources, all verifiable and sourceable, then there's enough for an individual article on an upcoming film. If all we have is rumors and speculation from fan sites, then we should hold off. As written, the guidelines for film are much more restrictive than the over-arching guidelines at WP:NOTE and WP:CRYSTAL, and I don't agree with that. -- MisterHand (Talk to the Hand|Contribs) 16:27, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

So does that mean you support the inclusion of speculation? Speculation can be reliably sourced, even speculation that is completely far-fetched.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 16:30, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
I mean, think. If Wikipedia had been around 20 years ago, look at some of the articles that would have sat around and done nothing. Spider-Man spent almost 2 decades in development hell before that finally came out. Warner Brothers kept promising a new Superman film till they finally settled on two television series.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 16:34, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Most speculation is not appropriate, sourced or not, but I imagine there can be exceptions depending on the context, the source, etc. It's not a black and white issue. Is it not conceivable that a reader may want information on a film in pre-production? It seems a bit silly to draw an arbitrary line at "it's shooting", even if a lot is already known about the film. Remember, Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia, so as long as an article conforms with core guidelines and policies, it should be included. -- MisterHand (Talk to the Hand|Contribs) 16:47, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
I brought up merging into source material because generally these articles tend to be about films which are adaptations of other material. No one is arguing for deletion of well-sourced content, only the articles. And until the cameras are rolling, it is just a lot of names being thrown around. Girolamo Savonarola 16:51, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
I guess I don't see the advantage of having the content under the source material versus having a separate article. As noted before, we're not a paper encyclopedia so it's not as if we're saving trees. -- MisterHand (Talk to the Hand|Contribs) 16:55, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Not paper only means we include things that we wouldn't normally include in a paper encyclopedia, doesn't have anything to do with "where" it is included. Also, Wikipedia is about quality, not quantity. So, just because it conforms to core guidelines and policies doesn't mean it wouldn't be better served in a larger topic area if one exists. I feel if it's shooting, then you can probably go head an make the article, unless it's some obscure direct-to-dvd movie that might be better suited somewhere else. The question is really "how much information is needed to justify a film article if the film is not currently in production?" That's non-repetative information. Someone saying "it will be out in 2009" for the next 3 months doesn't need to be mentioned and referenced every time they say it. But I've seen articles bloated with that type of repetition. Speculation on a cast member, which is then followed by "cast member says they don't know anything". The early film articles get riddled with scooper type dialogue and reports, as if it's a current events article and we have to report any tiny mention of the film that is released.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 16:55, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with everything you've said regarding upcoming film articles. It's a big problem since every rumor and hearsay shows up, usually unsourced and presented as "fact". But I'm not sure what is solved by offloading this onto the source articles. I feel like we're throwing the problem "over the wall" to let the book and comic editors deal with it. -- MisterHand (Talk to the Hand|Contribs) 17:00, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
That depends on if you stop following the page. The first problem comes "does it need its own article"? If it doesn't, then moving it to a larger topic shouldn't be avoided simply because there is a fear that the comics and books, or some other project of editors are going to either not know what to do with it or have to battle the same thing the film project editors battle. It depends on the editors. This is the problem, where does it go and how to you keep control over the irrelevant information? You create a film article, the film never gets made, you end up merging into those very articles you were once afraid to put it for feeling as though you were "throwing it over the wall". Someone comes in, adds a whole lot of speculation that occurred while the film was in development. It's a chance. The info is going to be battled no matter where it is, and you cannot assume that film project editors are better at curbing that speculation that comic project, or novel project editors. There are just as many film project editors who think that as soon as it's announced it should be created and all information, no matter how speculatory, should be added to the there is for any other project. I'm sure there are plenty of comic project editors who have dealt with enough film articles to understand the guidelines. WP:NOTE, WP:RS, and WP:V are the same no matter what project you are with. We personally have Notability (films), but it's based on the basic principle behind WP:NOTE.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 17:08, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

A more compact guideline

Films which have not been confirmed by reliable sources to have commenced shooting should not have their own articles. Until then discussion of the film may be included in articles about the film's subject material. Sources need to confirm the start of shooting after shooting has begun.

Additionally, films that have already begun shooting, but have not yet been publicly released (theatres or video), should not have their own articles, unless the production itself is notable per notability guidelines. Similarly, films produced in the past, which were either not completed or not distributed should not have their own articles unless their failure was notable per notability guidelines. --Kevin Murray 17:25, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Thank you. That is more than adequate. Girolamo Savonarola 17:37, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
You're more than welcome. Good to work with you. --Kevin Murray 17:55, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
This strikes me as a much stronger stance against future films than is currently enforced at AFD. Under this criteria, I'd expect virtually all members of Category:Upcoming films (and its subcats) should be deleted. Is this really the intent? -- Rick Block (talk) 00:15, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Consensus in AfDs typical go with "the information shouldn't be deleted", but if you view a proposed merger discussion that might take place after an AfD, you'll find a lot of the people that voted to keep an article also vote to have it merged with a larger topic. AfDs are usually the wrong way to go about anything, but it says you think the information itself should be deleted, when we arent' advocating that. We are advocating that the page shouldn't be created that soon, because nothing says the film will definitely be released and there usually isn't that much information on a future film unless it's getting close to production time.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 00:32, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying I favor articles about upcoming films, but for this guideline to patently be at odds with current practice seems odd. Does anyone from the films wikiproject keep tabs on articles about future films and actually get the content merged (into, say, the article about the director or studio or actor or whoever's fan it is that created the article in the first place)? Perhaps this guideline could say what to do in these cases (generally, merge the content into ..., and replace the article with a redirect). -- Rick Block (talk) 01:20, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
I think Magneto (film), Spider-Man 4, Superman: The Man of Steel (film), Jurassic Park IV are some examples of articles that were merged to a larger topic.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 01:27, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
I keep huge tabs on future film articles. See User:Erik/Future articles for headlines of projects that I watch until it nears production. Also, see User:Erik/Link repository#Redirected projects for film articles that have been created too soon and have been redirected to a broader article. Some have information, having done more than just announce it, but others have simply been announced and not advanced upon. I don't believe there's an issue with creating redirects to a proper location in the broader article, like Bignole showed with his examples. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 01:33, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
And I agree that the guideline should state what should be done, as Rick suggested.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 01:45, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Star Trek (film) seems to be a huge exception to this guideline. It was a well-refernced encyclopedia-quality article nearly a year ago, and they've only begun to announce cast selections, let alone start filming. I think something needs to be added that if significant details about an upcoming production are covered in multiple reliable sources, then an article can be created before filming begins. In such a case, if the film is not eventually produced this fact alone would likely be a notable event. Also, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (film) would fail this criteria even though it was recently kept at AfD, and a failure to produce this film would be a significantly notable event. DHowell 02:53, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Star Trek (film) actually needs to be trimmed down massively; it has reported far too much indiscriminate information. Due to the fan base of this franchise, I'm not surprised that there is so much extraneous detail (in the encyclopedic sense). It's akin to this example of Resident Evil fans. I do not know how the article would look after being shaped to be more encyclopedic (think long-term), but it may after all warrant a merge somewhere else. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 02:58, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
While I agree that HP6 or 7 not being made into a film would be extremely unlikely, it is irrelevant as well - how are we supposed to make an even vaguely objective decision as to the viability of a film in development making to production? Girolamo Savonarola 04:30, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Also, by all rights, that film article should have been merged elsewhere based on WP:NF, because production of that film is still years away. The article is going to sit in that stubby form, with minor casting updates, while the focus is on the sixth film's production. Someone should've brought up WP:NF in that AfD. Maybe a merge should be suggested -- AfDs make people freak out and think their article will be gone forever. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 10:38, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
The point is that some films are notable even if they don't make production, e.g. Star Wars sequel trilogy. A film is notable if enough reliable sources have talked about it enough that an article can be written... i.e., we don't need any criteria beyond the WP:N primary criterion, in my opinion. JulesH 15:24, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
The Star Wars article is really more about a topic. If someone started making pages for the individual sequels, I'd be concerned. Many of the source materials for heavily-tracked upcoming films have been adapted into a wide variety of media many times, so the material may even have a page called "Adaptations of [x]". To recapitulate what has been said: no one has suggested deleting sourced content - just moving it to a subsection of its source material. Girolamo Savonarola 18:21, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

(outdent)I like the new wording much more precise and to the point. Whispering 16:54, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Add "highly-viewed" and "nominated for a major award" as criteria

  1. I recommend adding "highly-viewed" as a criteria. "Highly-viewed" means an unusually high success at the box-office or though other means. In the United States, the top-10 grossing feature films each year would qualify.
  2. I recommend adding "nominated for a major award" such as the Academy Award for Best Feature Film should automatically qualify. A "major award" should be an award where even a nomination is truly an honor, not an award with thousands of nominees.

In almost all cases, films that qualify for either of these will qualify under other criteria. These criteria can be thought of as short-cuts to establishing notability when notability is obvious. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:11, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Emphasize that this is a guideline not a rule

This guideline needs to emphasize that just because a film meets one of the listed criteria doesn't necessarily mean it's notable. Common sense should prevail. A film that gets 2 national reviews the fizzles at the box office after less than a week never to be seen or heard from again isn't notable and will likely be successfully AfD'd a few months after the film's release. Likewise, it needs to put more emphasis on the occasional exception clause - a film that doesn't verifiably meet any of the criteria may be unquestionably notable. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:15, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

It would be clearer to me if you could illustrate some examples. Thanks! Girolamo Savonarola 02:43, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with GS that the issue seems vague without some examples illustrating a problem with the current guideline. --Kevin Murray 04:17, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that we have no idea what is meant by this in a real world application unless someone can mention some specific films or articles. His proposal is far too vague. And all guidelines are not rules in the strict sense of unviolable policy (of which there are very few, and some were project imperatives from above), but rather adhered-to practices, agreed to by community consensus, which should have good justification for any exceptions from the norm. Girolamo Savonarola 22:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Advice requested

Could someone involved in writing this guideline take a look at Rosalie Goes Shopping (of which I am the main contributor) and tell me if it meets the criteria listed here? I've listed three reviews there, and two of them (Roger Ebert and the Washington Post) probably qualify as nationally known, but I'm not sure their reviews qualify as full-length. I have not found any evidence of any notice being taken of the film more than five years after it was released, and the fact that it was first shown at Cannes doesn't seem to be a sufficient criterion, since that was before its general release, not five years after it. I'm not aware of it winning any awards, being preserved in a national archive, or being taught. —Angr 18:41, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

It has notable cast and crew, and as stated received reviews from notable publications or critics. It would be hard to argue against notability. The image should be removed in favor of a poster (if one exists) or a screencap from the film - the image currently used only would be appropriate for the article on the actress. (I gather that the picture was also taken years after the film, too.) Girolamo Savonarola 22:20, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
According to IMDb, it was nomated for "Cannes Film Festival - 1989 Golden Palm". The nomination is still something, so you could mention that, but I would try and find a reliable source to verify it.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 22:27, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
The current image is free, and a poster or screencap from the film would be nonfree, so the current image should stay. I looked at the Cannes website and could only find confirmation that it was shown there, not that it was nominated for the Palme d'Or. —Angr 04:52, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Style guidelines for film articles dictate that the poster is to be used for the template, and there is currently consensus that it is an acceptable fair use image for these purposes. If a poster image or screencap cannot be found, then the infobox should not have a picture at all. In no cases, however, should a tangential picture be included, regardless of the licensing issues. Girolamo Savonarola 05:06, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I think where style guidelines for film articles come into conflict with the Third Pillar, the latter should take precedence. If someone else uploads a poster and adds it to the article, I won't revert, but I certainly won't upload a nonfree image to Wikipedia myself just to make an article prettier. —Angr 05:23, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Welcome to the "Great Image Deletion Wars" on WP:FU - but that is another topic entirely which seems to leave almost no one happy whatever happens.... Girolamo Savonarola 05:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm an old veteran of those wars. But by refraining from uploading the nonfree image in the first place, we don't have to worry about it being deleted later. —Angr 06:12, 9 August 2007 (UTC)


I have proposed that the notability subguidelines be deprecated with the salient points being merged into the main notability guideline and the remaining subguidelines merged & deprecated to essay status. Please join the centralized discussion at Wikipedia talk:Notability#Merge proposal. Vassyana 01:01, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Major awards

The article previously stated, "Standards have not yet been established to define a major award, but it's not to be doubted that a Best Picture Academy Award, or Palme D'or, Camera D'or, or Grand Prix from Cannes would certainly be included." I removed the reference to "Best Picture" because this language seemed far too cautious in terms of what films warrant having Wikipedia articles. This made it seem to me as though articles such as Little Miss Sunshine or The Queen (film) would be at risk of deletion because those films were only nominated for Best Picture, but didn't win; the only Oscars they won were in other categories. That isn't the standard we apply, and I don't think an attempt to delete those articles for lack of notability would be taken seriously. Therefore, the guidelines should reflect a broader understanding of notability. I am aware that the Oscars also include categories such as documentary and short subject categories where the films are more obscure, but the winners in those categories should be considered major award winners which are worthy of articles too. --Metropolitan90 02:30, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Sounds fine. IMHO, any film that is even nominated for any of those particular awards is notable by the very fact of said nomination. Girolamo Savonarola 02:33, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Editor2008 (talk · contribs) has constantly removed information of the amateur remake, citing that many fan films don't get as much attention as this remake of Raiders did? I'm too tired to sort him out. Alientraveller (talk) 22:28, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Big picture problem with this guideline

I don't know the history of how this guideline developed (though I've looked through the talk page discussion) and I don't know exactly where it's at now in terms of how happy folks are with the guideline and how often it is invoked. I was brought back over here when I was participating in an AfD on A Life in the Death of Joe Meek (which I had never heard of until I saw it on AfD). In looking up the guideline again I remember I had always had a problem with its restrictiveness in terms of notability. I would like to explain why I feel this way and hopefully open a discussion that might lead to some changes in the policy. My apologies as this is a little bit long but I'm trying to be thoughtful and for me that sometimes requires a bit of verbosity.

I'm all for keeping stuff which is completely non-notable (be it a film or anything else) out of the encyclopedia and regularly !vote to delete at AfD or put articles up for speedy deletion. However I also have a strong inclusionist streak, particularly when it comes to interesting pieces of culture which may be briefly notable and then fade from memory. I think the current guidelines for films (and for books too, but one thing at a time!) can lead to the deletion of things that really belong on Wikipedia.

This film A Life in the Death of Joe Meek is a case in point. It's a new documentary, which has screened at a few films festivals, received a couple of brief reviews, and is about a significant figure in the history of pop music - Joe Meek (though I'd never heard of him). By our guidelines here the article should, as of now, probably be deleted and quite possibly it will be. But even if the film is never distributed I can't help but feel that films like it (with a respectable run at film festivals, about an interesting historical figure, but only seen by a few thousand people at best) deserve a place here in Wikipedia.

I also thought about this issue awhile ago when an anonymous user, retaliating for an AfD I had listed, placed a notability tag on Columbia Revolt, an article I started (and which exactly 17 people have read). This film has been discussed in some secondary sources and could/should survive an AfD (though I've never gotten around to expanding it properly such that notability was proven), but it's an example of a film that could easily slip through the notability cracks if someone didn't do their homework or if it had been mentioned in a few less sources (or if some works discussing it were not on Google books).

Both of these films are documentaries and that's a category I'm particularly concerned with, but I'm also concerned with films with artistic (or other) merit but very little audience/mainstream coverage. The films I'm concerned with would generally not have attributes 1, 3, 4, and 5 under the guideline. Their only notability would come from some notion of being "historically notable," and here the guideline is particularly restrictive I think. The "at least five years" component of the historically notable attribute is on the one hand rather arbitrary and on the other hand contrary to the spirit of the general Wikipedia guideline - particularly the notion that notability is not temporary. I think a film which is screened at several film festivals, gets a few small but decent reviews in fairly minor media, fails to get distribution, and then drops of the face of the earth will often deserve an article. The current guidelines would seem to prohibit that.

Part of what we need to think about here, I think, is how movie distribution works (or book distribution, but again one thing at a time). By our criteria films that are profitable and/or widely distributed are, as a general rule, more notable than films which are not. Sometimes that's appropriate, and I'm not arguing for inclusion of every lame-ass indy film ever made (far from it). However I do think by putting the notability bar so high (wide distribution, lengthy reviews in notable - i.e. commercial - press, winning of awards, etc.) we are to an extent following the film industry's own criteria for what matters and what does not. That criteria is based largely on profit/box office success and should not be what Wikipedia, or any encyclopedia, is about.

Right, this is too long. So what's my point? I would suggest loosening the guidelines in number two for historical notability or possibly adding some catchall "other" component to the list which is not too general. Suggestions for possible ways to expand the "historically notable" component include:

  • 1) Documentaries which were screened at film festivals (or even a series of local screenings mentioned in secondary sources) and reviewed in some reliable sources at the time of release might warrant articles if the subject matter is of some historical importance.
  • 2) Films which were screened at film festivals (or even a series of local screenings mentioned in secondary sources) and reviewed in some reliable sources at the time of release might warrant articles if reviews of the time commented on the artistic merit of the film.
  • 3) Films of any type which were screened in multiple places and which received little or no coverage in reliable sources but received significant attention from certain communities (in the general sense of the word), or from bloggers, alternative media, etc. might warrant articles.

One and two I am particularly adamant about, three is a bit vague and I could not even give a specific example for that, but something along those lines seems like it might be appropriate.

So if anyone ever actually reads this (again apologies for the length) I would love to discuss this stuff further.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 08:27, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Screened at film festivals is too amorphous of a criterion. There are thousands held every year, many with hundreds of films screening. Even allowing for overlap, we're talking about easily more than 10k potential new entries a year. Many of those festivals also accept to all films which pay an entry fee, meet some general requirements, etc. In short, not all festivals are equal. As for the documentary question, the easiest response I can come up with is that while sometimes individual films may not be notable, their subjects may be; if that is the case, then a mention of the documentary title(s) in the subject's article would be appropriate. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 08:38, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the (very prompt) reply Girolamo (I just saw your user name for the first time a few days ago, and must say I'm a fan of it). Yes, of course, a mention of a non-notable documentary in the article of the subject of the documentary is warranted - I think that goes without saying and is not really related to my point. As to the other component of your response, please note the criterion I was suggesting (as a starting point for discussion) was "Screened at film festivals" AND "reviewed in some reliable sources at the time of release." I'm not trying to let in the barbarian hordes here (for lack of a less crude term), I'm just trying to open the door a bit. I guess I'd be interested in a response to the spirit, as opposed to the letter, of my comment.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 08:49, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
I thought I was responding to both, but so be it. It also is worth noting that Columbia Revolt is more notable for its historical context than its aesthetical context, and furthermore would not pass your criteria regardless, so I can't help thinking that it's not germane to this particular discussion. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 09:03, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, as regards notability and time, the purpose (as I understand it) of the five years clauses is to demonstrate that the film has had some longevity either by being re-released, profiled, or chosen in a poll in isolation from any distribution marketing mechanisms. It isn't to say notability is temporary - in fact, it's about the opposite - if the film is notable, it should still be notable enough to have one of those things happen no less than five years later. Another thing worth mentioning is that while notability shouldn't disappear, it also does not necessarily occur upon release - Manos Hands of Fate would be an example of a film which did not achieve notability until decades later, when it became infamous through an MST3K episode. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 09:10, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
(ec with last comment, but am pasting this in cause I took a little while to write it, will respond to above shortly) I'm attempting, perhaps feebly, to open a discussion here and it seems like we're getting off on the wrong foot so I'll try to remedy that somewhat with this reply. First of all in re-reading my last comment I can see how my mention of your username might have come off as sarcastic, but I assure you it was not and hope you didn't read it that way (I'm a student of history, and am glad that Savonarola's name popped up on whatever I was reading a few days ago). I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say "I thought I was responding to both." Do you mean responding to "Screened at film festivals" AND "reviewed in some reliable sources at the time of release" (as opposed to just the former)? If so then I better understand your first reply, though I think that still narrows the range of potential new film articles to less than "more than 10k" (many films are in festivals, but never receive any sort of review or mention). Anyhow that's just the type of issue I would like to discuss.
I only mentioned Columbia Revolt as being illustrative of my general point and also something with which I have personal experience since I wrote that small article. The film was reviewed in the New York Times when it came out and has been discussed in a couple of books on film history (ones available on Google books) so I'm not worried about its notability based on my criteria or even the existing one - i.e., I don't have an axe to grind on that or any other article, it was just an example of the issue I am concerned with which came to mind.
With all respect I think you were perhaps reading my comment as an attack on the current guideline that was rooted in some particular grievance over certain articles. I can understand reading my comment that way, but I only cited particular articles as examples of my general point - loosening the notability guidelines for films somewhat might be a good idea. This is all I really want to discuss. Maybe my previous comments were not the best way to begin the conversation, but I do want to talk about this and hope that you and other editors are open to that possibility.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 09:27, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

And in reply to your last comment Girolamo, I fully agree that notability can come later as in the example you give. Your point about the five year issue I do not agree with though. When you say that the point is that "the film has had some longevity either by being re-released, profiled, or chosen in a poll in isolation from any distribution marketing mechanisms" you are looking past the fact that is precisely those films which have distribution marketing mechanisms that are most likely to be "re-released, profiled, or chosen in a poll." This goes to the heart of my point about notability - if it was demonstrated once it does not need to be demonstrated again later, and we should open our notability guidelines to some films which achieve some (often brief) notability in non-commercial circles.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 09:34, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Complaint. Too many shortcuts. Circular referencing

Having been pointed to WP:FILM regarding the AfD of a future film, I find that it doesn't point directly to anything useful. I find instead a mess of circular referencing, involving Wikipedia:WikiProject Films, Wikipedia:Notability (films) and Wikipedia:WikiProject Films/Future films.

I suggest cleaning up the excessive shortcuts, and moving/copying all of the externally referenced rules/guidelines/criteria/recommendations to a single place, probably Wikipedia:Notability (films). --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:44, 3 May 2008 (UTC)


Hello, fellow editors ... I was wondering if there is enough interest in the Flag templates to create a WP:FLAG-MOVIE to go along with WP:FLAG-PROF, WP:FLAG-FICT and WP:FLAG-SCL ... it would be trivial for me to update the {{Flag-article}} and {{Flag-editor}} templates to recognize either Films or Movies as another (Guideline)... Happy Editing! — (talk · contribs) 20:32, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Some clarification

I just wanted to clarify on something: what the policy say specifically about films that have not yet begun filming, but have been confirmed by reliable sources to begin filming soon. The film in question is The Last Airbender (film) (currently redirects to Avatar: The Last Airbender). The film has a confirmed release date, but no information on filming, etc. — Parent5446 (message email) 01:54, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

WP:NFF still applies. There have been many examples of well-funded and notably-cast films which have still had the plug pulled at the last moment, after a considerable amount of pre-production work has been done. Since the film is based on prior source material which we have an article on, the text should remain at the source material's article until the film itself can be confirmed to have already begun production, and thus passes NFF (assuming it is otherwise notable). Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 05:17, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
If there is no information on filming then it should remain at that parent article until release. Even films that have been produced have still managed to be shelved at the last minute. In such a case, there may be nothing to say about the film except that it was made but never released and you don't need an entire page for that.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 11:18, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, thanks for your help. — Parent5446 (message email) 11:23, 2 July 2008 (UTC)


I predict that there will be fresh discussion about the guideline in the near future; see user page. —Erik (talkcontrib) 20:30, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Rally your troops if you wish, but you will be disappointed about a fresh discussion. travb (talk) 21:11, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Old v. Contempory films

I boldly removed this section from the guideline because it is redundant to the above discussion of inclusion criteria and falsely implies that only films which make a lasting impression are notable for wikipedia purposes. Instead, even tempory "buzz" if it is covered in independent, reliable sources justifies an article. The key criteria is recognition by sources or groups not affilicated with the films production, which can take time but can also come more or less instantly for a widely released film. Eluchil404 (talk) 05:29, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I expect that removal will be controversial, but I for one am in favor of it, and it goes part of the way to address the problems I brought up in the section at the top of this talk page, where discussion quickly ground to a halt. In my view the section removed violated the spirit if not the letter of WP:NTEMP. If a small documentary film makes a splash on the film festival circuit, gets reviewed in a few major newspapers, and then isn't much discussed after that, I think it warrants a Wikipedia article. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 11:36, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I support the removal. The section did not strike me as helpful; I am not sure what the original author(s) had in mind. There are similar points to what is in the "Future films, incomplete films, and undistributed films" section, and the points in the latter section are clearer. (For example, that section says that production of a film has to be notable to warrant an article, which "Contemporary films vs. older films" says in more muddy terms.) The content does not match the section heading... does anyone think we could possibly revise the section to focus more on how to write about older films? For example, I know that there are some famous filmmakers who still have red links for some of their earlier works; some editors may create articles for these works based on that filmmaker's fame. Is that a topic worth exploring? (Pardon the tangential discussion!) —Erik (talkcontrib) 15:36, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Problems with (mis)interpretation of "general principles"

The section in question seems to deal with looking for suitable sources toward notability:

I quote....

The following are attributes that generally indicate, when supported with reliable sources, that the required sources are likely to exist:

  1. The film is widely distributed and has received full length reviews by two or more nationally known critics.
  2. The film is historically notable, as evidenced by one or more of the following:
  3. Publication of at least two non-trivial articles, at least five years after the film's initial release.
  4. The film was deemed notable by a broad survey of film critics, academics, or movie professionals, when such a poll was conducted at least five years after the film's release.[3]
  5. The film was given a commercial re-release, or screened in a festival, at least five years after initial release.
  6. The film was featured as part of a documentary, program, or retrospective on the history of cinema.
  7. The film has received a major award for excellence in some aspect of filmmaking.[4]
  8. The film was selected for preservation in a national archive.[5]
  9. The film is "taught" as a subject at an accredited university or college with a notable film program.

I read this section to be an instruction within the guideline that then describes when one might reasonably expect to find sources that act toward notability. However, I have seen this section repeatedly quoted at AfD's as if it itself is the definition of what comprises notability... and not simply as a barometer as to whether or not such sources might be presumed to exist. Am I wrong? Should it be rewritten to state that it is itself an indicator of notability? Or should it be clarified that it is simply an instruction as to when one might expect sources to exist?

If toward the sources themselves, I suggest it be ammended to read:

The following are a few attributes of a subject that generally indicate, when supported with reliable sources, that the required sources toward notability are likely to exist. These attributes are only of the search for sources toward notability, and not of the notability itself:

Thank you, Schmidt, MICHAEL Q. 04:51, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

The issue arises because similar lists in other guidelines like WP:MUSIC explicitly state that an article subject is notable if it verifiably meets one of the prongs. I don't like that approach because it focuses on subjective "importance" rather than the existence (and quality) of sources. Also, I am reluctant to say that all x are notable, even in a notability guideline, because of the many exceptions that may exist. All to often, people treat the notability guidelines as clear rules to be followed rather than as descriptions of past practice and recommendations for the future. I prefer the current wording as best reflecting the proper relationship between the GNG and a subject specific guideline and striking the right balance in favor of sources rather than arbitrary criteria (though they remain necessary and even useful as quick guides and reality checks). I would rather take the harder path of patiently emphasizing the guideline's wording at AfD and encouraging other guidelines to adopt WP:NOTFILM's style. But it would be easier to follow the more widely used format, if that is what consensus suggests. Eluchil404 (talk) 07:38, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Appreciate the repsonse, and fully understand what you say. But how can one then address the repeated misinterpretations? In WP:NF, this quoted section deals with the search for sources, and then lists attributes which might then further indicate the existance of such sources. How about the elination of my suggested final and clarifying sentence... and go with something like this:
The following are a few attributes of a subject that generally indicate, when supported with reliable sources, that the required sources toward notability are likely to exist:
It is not as explicit as I might have hoped, but it does gently underscore that this section is about a search for sources and not about the subject. Schmidt, MICHAEL Q. 08:08, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
The larger issue needs wider consensus but as for wording I might suggest
The following are some attributes of a subject that generally indicate, when supported with reliable sources, that the required sources demonstrating notability are likely to exist. While these attributes provide a useful tool for assessing the likelihood of sources demonstrating notability, they do not define notability itself:

Noteability of TV Episodes

Forgive me, I'm sure this has been brought up before, but what is the reasoning behind every episode in a TV series having a Wikipedia article? I understand the show may be noteable, even the season, but each episode having its own article makes about as much sense as every charachter in a show or episode having their own article. Sephiroth storm (talk) 15:29, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, this page is for films, so I don't know if editors who watchlist the page have the answer. I recommend looking at Wikipedia:Television episodes and its talk page to find it. —Erik (talkcontrib) 15:34, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Well most shows that have articles about every episode (rather than bundling them into season articles) also have articles on every main character. The main discussion of this issue has been over at WP:FICT which attempted to set a standard for both episode and character articles, as well as characters from books etc. Eluchil404 (talk) 19:30, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Not the right place for the question, but as a member of the Television project, here be my answre: The short answer is: because fans made them and they often go overlooked. Every episode of a series is rarely notable, nor every character, but going through and cleaning them up is a long, tiring, and thankless bit of work. There are many that have been done. There are others, which are still in progress, and there are some guarded by the "rabid fans" of legend that generally will prevent any consensus for merging or deletion from occurring (or the extreme inclusionist editors who feel that every thing that exists should have an article). This is, unfortunately, compounded by a general lack of participation/help from the project itself. In some other media topics, such as Anime and manga, and often here at Films, the project members will help out in explaining why they are not appropriate, why they shoudl be merged, and participate in the discussions to ensure there are experienced editors speaking up and not just a few only interested in that topic and not Wikipedia guidelines. (is slightly bitter regarding some of that, hope it doesn't show too bad :-P) -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 20:05, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Box office ranking

I am curious why box office ranking is not mention in notability? High box office ranking should be one of the signs of movie's notability. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 01:12, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I think that high box office ranking is pretty much a staple. I doubt that any of the highest-ranking films at the box office don't have an article already. People are pretty good about creating articles about these films. —Erik (talkcontrib) 02:00, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Because it's a single statistic. All notability (i.e. all of the various specialized notability guidelines) are based on the same principle of "significant coverage". A single statement of box office ranking doesn't do that, but box office ranking can be a sign that there is significant coverage out there. The same with winning notable awards. By themselves they aren't significant coverage, but typically provide the belief that the coverage exists (or should) given the film's apparent popularity with people or critics. Also, given that just about every film release not has a good portion of reviews listed at Rotten Tomatoes, and daily chronicling of box office performance at, there's typically always information to report and it's never a problem with the newer films.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:03, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
As a note, the question is specifically stemming to our disagreeing over Bleach: Fade to Black, I Call Your Name‎ having a standalone article instead of remaining as a merged paragraph in Bleach. It is now at AfD. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 02:11, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. There seem to be a wide community consensus at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Bleach: Fade to Black, I Call Your Name that high box office rankings translate into film notability. I think we should adjust the guideline to reflect that. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 20:16, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Box office ratings should certainly be added to the list of "atributes to consider" in determing notability. Doubtless there are films that had poor box office but received wide coverage, just as this one had great box office but poor Western media coverage. That list is simply an indicator and not itself the inclusion/exclusion parameters. Schmidt, MICHAEL Q. 20:25, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I think if a film is ranked in the top ten releases in whichever country it's released in, then that should be one of the indicators of notability. WIth that and any other acceptable coverage, a film should be considered notable. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:06, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, I believe the implication is that films that are highly ranked in the box office should definitely be able to garner two reviews, thereby passing the notability requirements. While this is certainly true in the U.S., this may not be true in non-English countries and probably is especially true for anime. I can't verify this, of course, but seeing Bleach: Fade to Black, I Call Your Name‎'s success, I would expect several reviews where there are none. ɳOCTURNEɳOIR talk // contribs 00:09, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
The problem that we run into repeatedly with Japanese reviews is the lack of online versions (or online versions which stick around long enough to be found). Many Japanese newspapers do not keep long archives, or only archive some articles, removing (or never uploading) others. This is the case for most of the large newspapers in Japan. This makes it infinitely more difficult to locate the articles if you don't have access to the print versions. For Japanese magazines, almost nothing is ever archived online (not even a listing of what's in the magazine). So stating that you can't find any reviews online doesn't really amount to much. Japan is woefully behind in this area when it comes to taking advantage of the internet and posting content online. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:14, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Right, that's exactly what I'm saying (albeit poorly worded). Too bad we don't have contacts who live in Japan, eh? Maybe someone on the Japanese Wikiproject would be able to help? ɳOCTURNEɳOIR talk // contribs 03:23, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Per the seeming consensus here and at the AfD noted, I have boldly adjusted the guideline to say "The film was within the top 10 in terms of box office sales" is also a standalone notability criteria. Feel free to tweak the wording for better grammar/cohesion.-- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs)

The real question. I think. isn't whether box office rankings are an indicator of notability, but if box office rankings indicate the existence of significant coverage by reliable, third-party sources. The endgame is that we have third-party sources from which to write an article instead of having an article based almost entirely on first-party sources. --Farix (Talk) 11:58, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

BOR is not a "stand alone criteria". It's an indicator that there might be something more, with the key word being "might". The article still has to show that it is notable.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 12:15, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I concur with Bignole - there is no rush to push this through, moreover, so I am - for the moment - reverting, so as to facilitate discussion. I'm not opposed to the idea on the whole, but I believe that it does require further discussion on its own (the AfD notwithstanding - that's not the proper forum to discuss guideline changes) and more clarification (for instance, suppose I decided to take my otherwise non-notable amateur film to Nauru solely for the purpose of getting a national top-10 and hence notability? A bit absurd, I admit, but consider the unobvious ramifications...). Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 23:39, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I also agree with Bignole. Box office stats don't have to be mentioned as a criteria for notability, but they are a good indication that a film will have enough coverage in reliable sources (i.e. news stories or reviews) to meet notability criteria anyway. When there's difficulty finding those reliable sources (such as in the example noted above, when the film had coverage in another language and it was hard to determine what those sources were and what they said), we simply need to try harder to find people in another WikiProject that can help us translate those sources. Raven1977Talk to meMy edits 16:39, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
There appears to be a certain level of contradiction here. If we're agreed that box office stats are a good indicator that reliable sources exist, then why not add it to the guideline alongside other such indicators? PC78 (talk) 16:58, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
(RFC'd) Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 23:50, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm not against the idea. I'm not so sure about a "top 10" requirement, but certainly when a film has topped the box office then I think that's a decent indicator of notability. PC78 (talk) 10:45, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Another concern of mine is - is this superfluous? Most of the other requirements are things that basically allow the article to pass the RS/V test. Top 10 films generally have no shortage of these, and therefore...what does this change, exactly? As I mentioned above, the only films I can imagine passing this criterion but not the others would be from markets with extremely low visibility to begin with. Otherwise, the question (to me) becomes one of simply doing your homework. Yes, I understand that the above example of Bleach had some difficulties, but none of them were insurmountable - there was coverage in Japanese at the very least, and while it might have required a bit more time to find a translator, it could have been done. If the point of this is to circumvent RS/V, then it will fail no matter what we decide, since those principles override any local guidelines. On the other hand, if anyone could point to a handful of examples where this would help, I'd be grateful to be made aware. Thanks, Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 20:07, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
The problem with Japanese sources is not translating them. The WP:JAPAN and WP:ANIME have enough editors capable and willing to translate. The problem is finding the sources. (Nihonjoe explained the reasons for this above.) It is virtually impossible for the average editor, who does not sit next to a pile of Japanese magazines or who has access to a Japanese library, to judge the notability of practically anything released only in Japan with criteria based solely on finding sources. (I certainly don't want to take the next flight to Japan everytime a Japanese movie goes to AfD.) So, "is this superfluous?" My answer is definately "no". That Bleach movie was only one example. Category:Anime films is filled with similar cases. And that category (of course) excludes articles on films that have been deleted, merged (commonly done with anime films), or have not yet been written/started. -- Goodraise (talk) 19:12, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

There seems to be consensus that a high box office ranking is a good indicator for the existence of reliable sources. The only thing left to do now is finding a wording that a) excludes markets which are too small (like the above mentioned Nauru) and b) gradually requires higher rankings for smaller markets. -- Goodraise (talk) 19:12, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Might it be better to an absolute figure (say 10, or maybe 1, million then year US dollars) rather than a top 10 showing. I would agree that all top 10 movies in Japan are presumptively notable, but the same is not necessarily the case in, say, Namibia. Of course, numerical guidelines have their own pitfalls. I am reminded of the 100 film criterion of WP:PORNBIO. Eluchil404 (talk) 04:18, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
My personal preference is to restrict the guideline to #1 box office films only. PC78 (talk) 22:17, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

In response to this edit: PC78, I gather that you disagree with the wording but your edit summary doesn't explain why. Could you elaborate? Goodraise 19:15, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

I thought my revert was fairly self-explanatory; yes, we do seem to be in agreement that the guideline should make reference to box office data, but you acknowledge yourself in your own preceeding edit summary that we don't have an agreed wording. I remain opposed to this guideline extending the presumption of notability to top 10 films, simply because there is nothing remotely notable about a film being ranked #10 at the box office. Consider last weekend at the UK box office: the #1 film had a weekend gross of £5,950,203, while the #10 film grossed £193,666 -- that's a pretty wide gap. As I've said before in this discussion, I personally would prefer to restrict the guideline to #1 films only, but I recognise that this may be considered too restrictive (the film that sparked this discussion was only ranked #2, IIRC). Even a top #5 ranking would be too weak a claim to notability IMHO, but I think top #3 is more realistic. PC78 (talk) 23:58, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, your revert summary was self-explanatory, it just wasn't helpful towards building consensus. My 19:12, 25 April 2009 (UTC) attempt at restarting this discussion didn't do much so I made a bold edit in the hopes of stirring up some disagreements to resolve. - "the #1 film had a weekend gross of £5,950,203, while the #10 film grossed £193,666" that's a pretty solid argument. After this, I doubt many will insist on top 10. (Don't count me into either camp, I'm only trying to squeeze a(ny) result out of this discussion.) Personal preferences on the other hand are pretty much irrelevant. - The question of the RfC was "Is box office ranking alone a sufficient criterion for film notability?" Unless I'm completely misreading this thread, the answer to that question is a clear "yes". Lets take the consequence of that and add a conservative top two criterion to the guideline and start a new thread to haggle about how far down the BO ranking the criterion should go. Goodraise 02:01, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Again, I ask the question which films would require this in order to establish notability or RS/V concerns? What exactly does this change? Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 02:07, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
It's just another indicator that significant coverage in reliable sources is likely to exist. As per the AfD which started this discussion, I think it would help in establishing notability for non-English language films where English-language sources may be hard to come by. PC78 (talk) 02:41, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
It's an inclusionist ploy to subvert policy. We want to sneak in thousands of non-notable films through the back door with no need for any sources whatsoever. - No, seriously. A box office based criterion is simple and the raw numbers are easy to come by through online sources for practially all countries. For English-language films this would change nothing at all, but for all other-language films, this would come a long way in reducing Wikipedia's systematic bias. Goodraise 02:58, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Box Office Ranking Wording

Ok then, I'll propose a specific wording for discussion. The film was within the top 5 in terms of annual box office receipts in at least one national market. Eluchil404 (talk) 08:57, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Why do you go with annual box office? The discussion above and the AfD which spawned it all dealt with weekend box office results. And the film the AfD was about probably won't even make a top 20 in the Japanese yearly box office. Goodraise 11:07, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
The discussion so far has been with regard to weekly box office, but I guess annual box office is worth considering as well. The film at AfD was ranked #76 at the Japanese box office last year (according to Box Office Mojo); I think we can be a bit more generous than top 5 for annual stats, but not to that extent. :) Off the top of my head I would say perhaps films ranked #1 (weekly) or top 10 (annually), or if we want to be less restrictive, top 3 (weekly) or top 20 (annually).PC78 (talk) 18:44, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I went with annual because I feel that it is important to be specific about such things and didn't see any qualifiers in the previous discussion. If people prefer weekend as the bench-mark that's fine. But we should be clear whether we are referring to weekend (three day) results or those for the full week. I'm just not sure that one week in the top ten in a small market should be an automatic pass. The original discussion was about a Japanese movie but whatever ends up in the guideline should have as broad an implication as possible. I think that the staying power indicated by annual results is better in such cases. I don't feel strongly about this criterion. Clearly it is a factor at the Bleach AfD but I don't have a good feel for where consensus is given only one data point. I just thought that discussing specific wording is a better way forward than debating abstract principles. Eluchil404 (talk) 19:30, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I think talking about an annual box office criterion is a matter that should be discussed in a different thread. It only complicates matters here. Lets focus on getting somewhere with the weekend criterion. How about: The film was within the top 3 in terms of weekend box office receipts in at least one national market.? Goodraise 19:52, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
(e/c) I don't think we're "debating abstract principles" here. As per my previous comments, I absolutely agree that a week in the top ten is woefully insufficient as an indicator of notabilty. Whatever numbers we decide to put in the guideline, let's try to remember that it is only a guideline. These aren't magic numbers that bestow notability on a film, they are merely ball park figures that indicate a film is probably noteworthy enough to have received some significant coverage in reliable sources. Looking at the guideline again, I'm just wondering if this is something that should go under "General principles" or "Other evidence of notability". Hmmm. Anyway, to help move things along I'll offer my own wording:

The film has demonstrably performed well in terms of box office sales or admissions in at least one national market, such as being ranked number one at the weekend or weekly box office, or in the yearly box office top ten.

Thoughts? PC78 (talk) 20:19, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, the Bleach movie was in the top 10 for 5 weeks, that played a role as well. So, how about:

The film has demonstrably performed well in terms of box office sales or admissions in at least one national market, such as being ranked number one at the weekend or weekly box office, or in the yearly box office top ten, or holding a high rank for several weeks.

Goodraise 20:50, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

What makes future films notable

Hmm. {{Future film}} is curious: what makes future films notable? Nothing on this page seems to apply. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 01:29, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

There is a section about future films, incomplete films, and undistributed films. The threshold is for a film to begin filming to have its own article, but it should be able to meet general notability guidelines, having significant coverage from multiple reliable sources. If there is notable subject matter or a notable director, then a future film is likely to have more coverage before its release. —Erik (talkcontrib) 01:59, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Documentary, program, or retrospective

The criterion:

The film was featured as part of a documentary, program, or retrospective on the history of cinema.

seems too wide. Perhaps:

The film was featured as part of a notable documentary, program, or retrospective on the history of cinema.

would be a better proxy for notability of the film itself. Support/oppose change to guideline? Bongomatic 17:20, 3 May 2009 (UTC)


A user keeps recreating A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010 film), even after I have informed them that it currently fails WP:NFF. Per the future films guideline, the film must be in production and the production itself must be notable. At this time, all of the reliably sourced information about this film is at A Nightmare on Elm Street (franchise)#Future, and none of that is production info, but casting and the announcement of a future film site. The user is throwing things out like "IMDB talks about it" to justify the page.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 03:03, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Reverted and gave him a 3RR warning since that was #3. Has this been deleted via AfD before under another name? -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 03:09, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I've basically stopped doing deletions because people continually create pages with title variations to get around. It always seems easier to just redirect, because then the redlink doesn't exist for them to create the page. This seems to be more of the user not understanding NFF, or our general acceptance for reliable sources (IMDB not being one of them).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 03:12, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
If it was AfDed under another name, though, would be a good case for doing a RPP if this guy doesn't get it (or it keeps being a problem). -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 03:14, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
As far as I'm aware, there has never been an AFD for any variation of the titles.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 03:16, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Unacceptable behaviour

This user Collectionian is repeatedly deleting my discussion entries. That kind of Stalinist behavior is nothing but utterly disgusting and shows a total lack of respect for other people. He's actually trying to totally silence another person. Its contemptible to say the least. Stop it right now. Nunamiut (talk) 07:47, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

This talk page is specifically for discussion of the film notability guideline in general, not specific instances in which the notability of a particular article within its scope is in question. Your concerns should be brought up on the article talk page, within an AfD (if one has been opened), or at WT:FILMS. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 09:15, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
The article was deleted at AfD months ago, and apparently Nunamiut is unable to accept consensus and has recreated it some 6-7 times (at least). There is currently an ANI thread about him and the various names he has used have been salted. He's been blasting that same messages all over the place. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 16:32, 25 May 2009 (UTC)