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The 2021 BEA Book Award has been awarded to Caty Borum Chattoo for Story Movements: How Documentaries Empower People and Inspire Social Change (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Story Movements is methodologically rich, including original case studies, the author’s own story as a documentary producer, and interviews with dozens of filmmakers and documentary organization leaders. The book reveals the rise, professional practices, and social influence of social-issue documentaries and makers in the networked media era—it examines the role of documentary in democracy and social change. Documentaries produced largely by independent makers spotlight the voices and perspectives of people and issues not often reflected in the mainstay of media systems in the United States, and they can capture the deep human implications of complex social challenges.

Caty Borum Chattoo is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication and Executive Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI), an innovation lab and research center at American University in Washington, D.C. She is an award-winning documentary producer, scholar, professor and strategist working at the intersection of social change communication, documentary and entertainment storytelling.

The BEA Book Award was established in 2020 to recognize an outstanding book written by a BEA member(s) in the field of broadcasting and mass communication. Each year the recipient will be recognized at BEA’s annual convention.