This week Hollywood film and TV stars Corbin Bleu, John Savage, and Tara Summers are in Detroit filming a new historic dramedy, Ovid and the Art of Love, on location at an array of cutting-edge arts venues and the glorious old Packard automotive plant.
Told through the eyes of a Detroit teenager named Jamal, Ovid and The Art of Love recounts the epic life-story of the renowned Ancient Roman poet Ovid. Coming to the big city of Rome from his small-town home, Ovid writes an amusing guide called The Art of Love, which brings him fame but lands him in the center of a heated public debate about private morals. Soon this witty everyman finds himself caught in a deadly game of imperial politics.
Ovid and The Art of Love marks the directorial debut of New York-based writer Esmé von Hoffman. “Like all kinds of artists in Detroit – musicians, poets, visual artists, you name it,” von Hoffman observed, “Ovid used art to triumph over adversity. In writing this screenplay. I talked with people in the Detroit community to see if the story resonated with them – and it did.”
Set against a backdrop that melds contemporary Detroit into ancient Rome, Ovid and The Art of Love blends classic and modern worlds with togas and high-top sneakers. “In many ways, Detroit is America’s Rome,” von Hoffman said, “as this bygone center of our nation’s industrial empire finds life again through art and culture.” Ovid and The Art of Love features many Detroit actors and local production crew as well as the city’s spoken-word and visual artists, who are helping to spark the city’s revival. Chalk Circle Films’ Ovid and The Art of Love, starring Corbin Bleu (High School Musical) as Ovid, Tara Summers (Hitchcock and the upcoming PBS series Mercy Street) as Julia the Elder, and John Savage as Emperor Augustus (The Deer Hunter, The Godfather Part III) is being filmed exclusively in Detroit. This feature film is produced by Benjamin Weisman (Chalk Circle Films), R. Jameson Smith (Seven Twenty One), Jason Ludman (Lowland Pictures), and Michael Angelo Zervos (Mother and Midwife Pictures). Executive Producer is Greg Johnson (The Squid and the Whale).
Ovid and The Art of Love will premiere in 2016.