Award-garlanded Italian director renowned for his commitment to realism and non-professional actors was a winner at both Cannes and Venice

Ermanno Olmi, the Italian director who won both the Cannes Palme d’Or and the Venice Golden Lion, has died aged 86. Italy’s ministry of culture announced the news, describing the director as “a giant, a great master of Italian cinema” and that his death was a “great loss to Italian culture”. Olmi died in hospital in Asiago, near Vincenza; no cause of death has been confirmed but Olmi had been ill for some time.

Italy’s culture minister Dario Franceschini said Olmi was “a deep-thinking intellectual who explored the human mystery, and described, with the poetry that characterised his work, the connection between man and nature, the dignity of labour, and its spirituality”.

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