The film director Vittorio De Seta, who has died aged 88, was best known for his short films. A selection of these, made in Sicily and Sardinia in the 1950s, was presented by Martin Scorsese at the 2005 Tribeca film festival in New York. Scorsese described De Seta's style as that of "an anthropologist who speaks with the voice of a poet". The film historian Goffredo Fofi has hailed De Seta as an Italian director "to be remembered alongside the Rossellinis and De Sicas, the Antonionis and the Fellinis"; he also deserves to be remembered alongside the great poetic documentary makers, such as Robert Flaherty, Humphrey Jennings and Basil Wright.
De Seta was born in Palermo, Sicily, to an aristocratic landowning family from Calabria. He enrolled in the navy during the second world war and, after the armistice in 1943, refused to sign allegiance