Quentin Tarantino has been accused of favouritism after awarding ex-girlfriend Sofia Coppola the coveted Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
The Reservoir Dogs director has come under fire in the Italian press after the jury he presided over handed the prestigious accolade to Coppola for her movie Somewhere, and gave a career achievement award to his mentor Monte Hellman.
A film critic for Milan-based newspaper Corriere della Sera wrote that “The [jury] presidency of Quentin Tarantino runs the risk of being the most obvious conflict of interest, given that Somewhere and [Hellman’s] Road to Nowhere seemed charming and intriguing but nothing more.”
When quizzed on claims of favouritism at the awards ceremony, Tarantino responded: “I wasn’t going to let anything like that affect me at all. I was just going to literally respond to the film. There was no me steering any direction.”
Adding that the jury had unanimously voted to present the award to Coppola’s film, he continued: “It enchanted us from the first. Being her friend didn’t affect me or make me sway the jury in any way.
“The other members of the jury don’t know her at all. They just loved the film. We kept coming back to it, as one of us said, because ‘It’s a great f**king movie’, all right?”