Sofia Coppola's Golden Lion win has been defended by Quentin Tarantino.

The 'Pulp Fiction' filmmaker stepped in to support his former girlfriend - who won the coveted Best Film award at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday (11.09.10) for her movie 'Somewhere'- after critics claimed she only scooped the honour because he was part of the judging panel.

He said: "There was no me steering any direction. Sofia doesn't know these other people on the jury and she won it fair and square. We were enchanted by the movie when we first saw it, but it proceeded to get better and better and better as The Days went on."

Sofia - whose father Francis Ford Coppola was presented with a career Golden Lion in Venice in 1992 -said she hoped the prize would come as a boost to small-scale movies not shot in 3-D.

Quentin previously enthused about the variety at this year's festival.

He said: "It's one of the wildest, coolest, most eclectic line-ups: it's kind of all over the map, and that's very exciting."