NYFF Q&A: Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, “Caesar Must Die”


Vittorio Taviani discussing Caesar Must Die at an NYFF press conference. Photo by Godlis.

In a sea of praise, laughter, and questions from the press and industry attendees gathered at the Walter Reade Theater, the renown Italian directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (Padre PadroneThe Night of the Shooting Stars) joined Richard Peña on stage for a press conference to discuss their journey in creating award-winning NYFF film Caesar Must Die

Moved by a prison's theater production of Dante's Inferno, the Taviani brothers recalled the compulsion they felt during the performance to bring the prison's theater program to the screen. From this emotional inspiration, Caesar Must Die developed into a blending of the directors' own passions and masterful talent in filmmaking with the prisoners' own personal sufferings and stories that motivated many of the Taviani brothers' dramatic and stylistic decisions.


Paolo Taviani discussing Caesar Must Die at an NYFF press conference. Photo by Godlis.

In the spirit of storytelling, the directors captivated the press conference in retelling their experiences working with the talented prisoners, and how they developed a sense of empathy that soon transpired into bonds of friendship over the course of making the film. As the directors made observations of prison life, and drew parallels between the contemporary tragedy experienced by the prisoners and the themes found in works such as Shakespeare's, the conference offered thought-provoking insights into the power of theater and film as a way of exploring unviersal human experiences and emotions. 

Caesar Must Die screens again October 8 at 1:00pm as part of the 50th New York Film Festival's Main Slate.

Watch full video of the press conference Q&A below:

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