The omission triggered indignant comment in the media and on social networks. "Oscars Shame," said a headline on the website of public broadcaster Rai.
"The usual Hollywood provincialism, they forgot to remember the maestro," wrote Antonella Fiori, in one of many tweets about the perceived snub to a director considered one of the giants of 20th Century Italian cinema.
Rosi, whose work influenced Martin Scorsese amongst others, died in January at the age of 92. He won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 1972 for The Mattei Affair and a 1983 British Academy award (Bafta) for best foreign film for Christ stopped at Eboli. His 1981 film Three Brothers was nominated for best film in a foreign language at the Oscars.
Rosi was not the only significant name to be overlooked by the producers of the commemorative montage broadcast during the Oscars ceremony. A similar row erupted on the other side of the Atlantic over the exclusion of comedian Joan Rivers.
However, both Rivers and Rosi were commemorated in a photo gallery of 129 notable figures to have died in the past year that was posted on the official Oscars website.