Duea Film, in conjunction with Pupi and Antonio Avati, is once again returning to the Quad-City area, to shoot a portion of their new film “The Backyard.”

The award-winning Avati brothers will be arriving from Rome, Italy for a tentative shoot date of Nov. 6-Nov. 17, 2023. Dennis Hitchcock and Tom Walljasper, the Iowa casting directors, announced Thursday they are looking for local actors to participate in filming.

“The Backyard” is described as a “gothic” film, based on a novel written by Pupi Avati, according to a release by Hitchcock, the owner/producer of Rock Island’s Circa ’21.

Director Pupi Avati attends the “Il Cuore Grande Delle Ragazze” premiere during the 6th International Rome Film Festival on November 1, 2011 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

It’s the story of a young psychopath who aspires to be a writer, and happens to fall in love at first sight, with a young nurse from the U.S. Army. We’re in Bologna, Italy, and we’re near the Allied Liberation. All it took for this young man to fall in love, were fleeting glances with Barbara, the beautiful nurse. He thought she would be the woman of his life, according to a film synopsis.

One year later, he finds himself at home, in a modest house in the American Midwest, with a nefarious backyard separating his house from that of his beloved Barbara. However, she doesn’t live there anymore.

The only one remaining at the residence is her elderly mother, distraught at her daughter’s loss. With the end of the conflict in Italy, Barbara wrote a letter stating that she was to marry an Italian man, but there was no more news of her after that letter. Barbara’s sister, Arianna, crosses the ocean searching for her, but comes back pretending Barbara’s dead, and proceeds telling this to everyone.

At that point, the young man begins searching for clues of the woman, until, after a dramatic spinning of events, he finds its unsuspected conclusion in Italy.

The Avati brothers’ 1991 film “Bix” was shot partially in the legendary jazz cornetist’s hometown of Davenport.

This project will be a non-union, pay-scale film, Hitchcock said. Director Pupi Avati (who will turn 85 on Nov. 3) is seeking to cast the following characters as “local hires,” and all roles below will be paid:


  • Arianna (30-40): Principal role. Flora’s distraught daughter. Drunk for the entire film, wobbly gait. She feels as though she is unattractive. (3 days approx.)
  • Father Jesus (70s): Supporting Role. Priest who helps film’s protagonist. (3 days approx.)
  • Male Police Officer (40-50): One full scene. Gruff, jacked like a weightlifter. (1 day)

SMALLER SPEAKING (Each character listed: one day)

  • Elderly Woman (65-75): Hunched back
  • Male Nurse #1 (35-45)
  • Male Nurse #2 (25-35)
  • Female Nurse in Hospital (25-35)
  • Rosie (14-17)
  • School Caretaker (60-70)

FEATURED EXTRAS (Each characters listed: one day)

  • Beel Green (30-40)-Blonde man with a noticeably large derrière. Has a passionate kiss with his bride. Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Eighteen Female Students (14-17)
  • Bus driver (Any)
  • Nine Bus customers (Any)
  • Five Men-Five Women (Any)
  • Waitress at Green Estate (Any)
  • Child playing in Hospital Square
  • Taxi Driver (25-40)
  • Two Hardware Store Customers (Any)
  • Driver for Arianna (35-50)

Please submit all photos, resumes and video reels by Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, with any pertinent information or questions to thebackyardqc23@gmail.com.