Western welcomes Oscar-Winning alumnus TJ Martin to campus today
TJ Martin. Photo courtesy of The Weinstein Co.
Oscar-winning director and Western Washington University alumnus TJ Martin will be welcomed to Western’s campus on Thursday just days after winning an Academy Award for his documentary “Undefeated.”
"On behalf of a proud Western Washington University community, congratulations to TJ Martin for his remarkable documentary, and for receiving the highest possible recognition of his craft by winning an Academy Award," said Western President Bruce Shepard.
Martin made history at the Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles Sunday, with “Undefeated” winning the Oscar for Best Feature Documentary. Martin is the first African American director of a full-length feature film or full-length documentary to win an Oscar.
Martin's second film, “Undefeated” documents the struggles of an inner-city Memphis, Tenn. football team as they attempt a winning season with their charismatic and devoted coach, Bill Courtney, at the helm. Faced with virtually every strike against them – from poverty to criminal behavior – this inspirational true story shows how a group of young men transformed into an academic and athletic team.
Martin will spend the day at Western talking to students, faculty and staff before an exclusive Bellingham screening of “Undefeated” on campus. The 5 p.m. screening of the documentary with Martin is sold out, but donations for student scholarships are still accepted on the event registration page.
“TJ Martin is thrilled he is able to support student scholarships at Western. He knows how important it is for students to have the necessary financial support to succeed,” said Deborah DeWees, executive director of Western’s Alumni Association, which is sponsoring the campus screening.
The only way someone without a ticket can attend is to show up early and hope a ticketholder is a no-show. Free parking will be available in "C" lots on the south end of campus, with shuttle service provided to PAC.