1950's Italian director of short documentary films set on Sicily or Sardinia. He turned to feature films with the neo-realist hit Bandits of Orgosolo (1961), which became his best-known movie internationally. De Seta was born in Palermo to an aristocratic landowning family from Calabria. He served in the Italian navy during World War II. After the armistice in 1943, he refused to sign allegiance to Mussolini's puppet republic in the north and was consequently imprisoned in Austria, released only after the liberation by the Russians and able to return to Rome to continue his studies as an architect.