Alumnus wins Academy Award for doc 'Undefeated'
TJ Martin. Photo courtesy of The Weinstein Company
Western Washington University alumnus TJ Martin has won an Academy Award for his documentary "Undefeated." The award was announced at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony Sunday, Feb. 26, in Los Angeles.
Martin will be on Western’s campus March 1 for an exclusive screening of the film; the event is sold out.
With “Undefeated” having won the Oscar for Best Feature Documentary, Martin is the first African-American director of a full-length feature film to win an Oscar. John Singleton, Lee Daniels and Spike Lee have received nominations for directing full-length features, but none has won an Oscar statue. Among black directors, only Roger Ross Williams has claimed the golden statue, in 2009 for best documentary short subject.
Martin, 32, won the Oscar alongside fellow director and editor Dan Lindsay.
The documentary, considered by many an underdog to win the Oscar Sunday night, created a huge buzz on social media channels. The film's announcement as the Oscar winner was the "most tweeted Oscars moment," according to Twitter.
"Undefeated" first received critical acclaim at its SXSW debut in March and was signed by The Weinstein Co. for distribution soon after.