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Oscar-winning Western grad wins Emmy for Rodney King documentary

Matt Renner, from left, Dan Lindsay, TJ Martin, Jonathan Chinn, and Simon Chinn pose with the Emmy Award for exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking for ‘LA 92’ during the Television Academy’s 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Los Angeles.
Matt Renner, from left, Dan Lindsay, TJ Martin, Jonathan Chinn, and Simon Chinn pose with the Emmy Award for exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking for ‘LA 92’ during the Television Academy’s 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Los Angeles. Invision/AP

Oscar-winning Western Washington University alumnus TJ Martin won an Emmy Saturday night for his National Geographic documentary “LA 92”, which addresses issues of race and class through a real-life story.

Martin, a 2005 graduate of Western, co-created “LA 92” with his directing partner and fellow Oscar-winner Dan Lindsay, according to a WWU news release. Martin and Lindsay’s film “Undefeated” won an Oscar for Best Documentary in 2012.

“LA 92” tells the story of the turmoil after the verdict in the 1992 Rodney King trial in Los Angeles that set off days of protests, violence and looting, also know as the L.A. riots. Martin’s documentary, which won for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, uses all archival footage and reveals the upheaval in L.A. occurring in real-time, according to the news release.

King was a black taxi driver who was arrested by the LAPD after leading officers on a high-speed chase. A tape was later released that showed four white LAPD officers beating King. The officers were acquitted by a jury of using excessive force, but were later convicted in a federal court trial of violating King’s civil rights.

“A big wish-list hope for me is that someone walks away and has a little bit more emotional empathy and emotional intelligence toward what disenfranchised communities go through on a consistent basis,” Martin said in the release.

The Pickford Film Center will show “LA 92” on Oct. 19 and Oct. 27. Martin said he plans to join the cinema audience over Skype to answer questions and discuss the film after the Oct. 19 showing.

Tickets can be purchased at pickfordfilmcenter.org.

Martin graduated from Western’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies and has been filming, editing and traveling since he began work on “Undefeated” in 2009, according to the release.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt

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