The cast and director of the film Green Book will be presented with the Vanguard Award at the annual Film Awards Gala at the upcoming 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF). The Vanguard Award is a group honor distinguishing a film’s cast and director in recognition of their collective work on an exceptional film project. Actors Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali as well as director Peter Farrelly are expected to attend. Green Book joins previously announced honorees Glenn Close, Rami Malek and Melissa McCarthy. The Festival runs January 3-14.
When Frank Anthony Vallelonga, aka Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), a New York City bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive and protect Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a world-class black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on The Green Book — a travel guide to safe lodging, dining and business options for African Americans during the era of segregation and Jim Crow laws — to steer them to places where Shirley will not be refused service, humiliated, or threatened with violence. Set against the backdrop of a country grappling with the valor and volatility of the Civil Rights Movement, two men will be confronted with racism and danger and be comforted by generosity, kindness and their own unique senses of humor. Together, they will challenge long-held assumptions, push past their seemingly insurmountable differences, and embrace their shared humanity. The film, from Participant Media and DreamWorks Pictures, is directed by Peter Farrelly.
“Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali are an on-camera dream team in the crowd-pleasing film Green Book, inspired by a true friendship, about a New York City bouncer hired to drive and protect pianist Dr. Don Shirley on a concert tour in the Deep South,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “Director Peter Farrelly, who also co-wrote the script, delivers a heartfelt movie-going experience that is guaranteed to receive awards attention for the actors, its director and the film itself. It is our honor to present the Vanguard Award to Green Book.”