|The Los Angeles Press Club is thrilled to announce the winner of its 4th annual Veritas Award for the Best Film Based on or Inspired by Real Events and People. This contest is judged by members of the LAPC — based equally upon fidelity of subject matter and artistic excellence.
The overwhelming winner is Universal Pictures Academy Award® nominee Green Book, written by Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly; directed by Farrelly and starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.
“Thank you Los Angeles Press Club for honoring Green Book with your distinguished Veritas Award. To know that your members, journalists of the highest standards, voted for us to receive this accolade makes it even more meaningful. Green Book is a film about love and hope, and we are beyond thrilled that you are acknowledging us. It is a great privilege to be recognized by such a longstanding, distinguished organization,” said producers Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga in a joint statement.
Green Book, from Participant Media and DreamWorks Pictures, is inspired by the story of an unlikely friendship that formed in the early 1960s between Tony Vallelonga (writer Nick’s dad, played by Mortensen), an Italian bouncer, and Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), an African-American pianist and composer. The story begins when Tony is hired to drive Dr. Shirley through the deeply segregated South on a two-month tour.
Along the way the two men gain a new understanding and honest respect for one another. Green Book illuminates the power of empathy and understanding to scale the social and cultural walls that divide us. The film has won multiple awards, including the Producers Guild of America award and the Golden Globe for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy. It has also been nominated for five Academy Awards®, including Best Picture.
“Knowledge is the key to evolution and justice—for society at large and, more poignantly, to us all on a human level. It’s therefore fitting that our members would choose Green Book for the Veritas Award. The film shines a powerful light on America’s painful racial history and reminds us of the inequality that still exists while giving us hope,” said LA Press Club Executive Director Diana Ljungaeus.
A Private War is this year’s runner up. Past winners were Spotlight, Hidden Figures and The Post.
The Veritas Award Ceremony is planned for Thursday, February 21. Further details, tickets and sponsorship opportunities will be available at LAPressClub.org.
The Los Angeles Press Club stands as an organization devoted to improving the spirit of journalism and journalists, raising the industry’s standards, strengthening its integrity and improving its reputation all for the benefit of the community at large. Serving the Southland since 1913, it is the only Southern California journalism group that speaks for all journalists working for daily and weekly newspapers, radio & TV, magazines, documentary films and online.