King RichardReinaldo Marcus Green‘s film that recounts the origin story of tennis greats Venus Williams and Serena Williams under the oversight of their father Richard Williams (Will Smith), has been crowned the winner of the Los Angeles Press Club’s 7th annual Veritas Award for best film based on or inspired by real events and people, The Hollywood Reporter can exclusively report.

The result was determined through a vote of the 1,000-member organization, which was presented with a ballot of 10 films. This year’s runner-up was Tick, Tick… Boom!, a film about the late playwright and composer Jonathan Larson. (Full disclosure: I serve on the LA Press Club’s board.)

King Richard takes viewers behind the headlines to provide insight on the persistence, discipline, confidence and competitive spirit instilled in them by their parents that helped Venus and Serena Williams forge their groundbreaking careers,” LA Press Club president Lisa Richwine said in a statement.

The team of filmmakers behind King Richard said in a statement, “Bringing the truth of this father, and this family, to the screen was incredibly rewarding. It’s not often we as audiences see — or, as filmmakers, get to tell — such a positive story about the Black community on film. Receiving this honor really brings it home for us, knowing that the Veritas Award recognizes the unsung heroes, not only for their triumphs but also, and more importantly, their humanity.”

Of the six past winners of the Veritas Award — Spotlight, Hidden Figures, The Post, Green Book, Bombshell and The Trial of the Chicago 7 — all but one went on to a best picture Oscar nomination, and two won that prize as well.

Green, producers Tim White and Trevor White and executive producer Isha Price (another Williams sister) will accept the award during the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards ceremony, which will be held virtually in early February.

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