Members of the team behind “Green Book” say they were amazed and thrilled it was crowned best picture at the Academy Awards despite the controversy that has dogged the segregation-era road-trip drama.

Co-writers and producers Nick Vallelonga and Brian Currie told The Associated Press at the Governors Ball following Sunday’s awards that it was an honor to win in a year with so many great films.

“Green Book” tells the story of a white man who becomes friends with the black musician he drives through the 1960s South for a concert tour. The name is derived from a publication that helped African-Americans find establishments that would serve them in the segregated South.

Brian Hayes Currie and Nick Vallelonga, co-writers and producers of best picture Oscar winner
Brian Hayes Currie and Nick Vallelonga, co-writers and producers of best picture Oscar winner “Green Book,” discuss the controversy surrounding the movie, as well as Spike Lee nearly walking out of the awards when it was announced as best picture. (Feb. 25)

Some of the musician’s relatives criticized the film.

Vallelonga says we know “how hard we tried to respect everyone involved and just tell the best story we could.”

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