Green Book, which explores race relations in the US in the 1960s, has been named as the Best Picture at the 91st Academy Awards.

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The film beat back a string of formidable challengers to nab the top honour. It faced strong competition from Roma, A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody. Other nominees were Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite and Vice.

Green Book, backed by Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Entertainment’s Amblin Entertainment, is based on a true story of friendship and relationship between a working class Italian-American bouncer, who becomes a driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960’s American South.

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“We made this film with love, tenderness, and respect,” said producer Jim Burke on Sunday night. “And it was all done under the direction of Pete Farrelly.”

Taking over, Farrelly gave special thanks to actor Viggo Mortensen.

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“He’s right, this is, the whole story is about love, it’s about loving each other, despite our differences, and finding out the truth about who we are, we’re the same people,” he said. “This doesn’t start, by the way, without Viggo Mortensen. All these awards are because Viggo and Mahershala and Linda, but it started with Viggo.”

Producer Charles B. Wessler added: “I want to dedicate this to our great friend Carrie Fisher.”

The film also nabbed awards for supporting actor (Mahershala Ali) and original screenplay.

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