Developing Film Tourism: Theory and Practice

This is a one day exploratory workshop with a two-fold aim. Firstly, by exploring different case studies from Scotland and elsewhere, we aim to enhance our understanding of film tourism by considering the resonances it has with other forms of tourism. Examples include both those closely related, such as literary, televisual, festival and heritage tourisms, and those seemingly less directly connected, such as dark tourism, medical tourism, and sustainable tourism. Secondly, by engaging with industry professionals, the event will examine the ongoing development of film tourism in Scotland, consider whether or not it might be influenced by these insights, and explore whether we should be discussing one film tourism, or many film tourisms.

Date: Friday May 15th, 2015.
Location: Andrew Stewart Cinema, Film and Television Studies, University of Glasgow
9 University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8QQ.
Attendance is Free. To sign up, please use the Eventbrite website (Places may be limited due to size of venue).
Conference Organisers: David Martin-Jones, Chelsea Birks.



8.30 – 9.15    Coffee (Room 408)
9.15 – 9.30     Welcome and Introduction (Andrew Stewart Cinema)
David Martin-Jones Scotland’s Missing Blue Plaques

Part I: Other (Hyphen)-Tourisms/Film Tourism
9.30 – 11.00
Rodanthi Tzanelli Developing e-tourism: Slumdog Millionaire’s digital realities
Meghann Ormond Of medicalised gazes and inner-space journeys: Constructing the ‘medical tourist’
Donald MacLeod Film tourism, cultural change and sustainability

11.00-11.30     Coffee (Room 408)

James Cateridge From Brave (2012) to Balamory (2002-5): Comparing film and television tourism in Scotland
Lizelle Bisschoff From the local to the global: Film festival tourism in Scotland
Alan Riach Cultural tourism and education: The case of Scottish literature

1.00-2.00     Lunch Break (Lunch provided for speakers/respondents, Room 408)

Part II: Scotland: Film Tourism/Film Tourisms
Jenni Steele Visit Scotland    
Anna Rathband National Trust for Scotland
Lloret Dunn Freelance Location Manager
Jennifer Reynolds Glasgow Film Office

4.00-4.30   Coffee (Room 408)

Part III: Conclusions
4.30-6.00   Respondent Remarks and Round Table
Ysanne Holt Northumbria University
Timothy Edensor Manchester Metropolitan University
All invited speakers

6.00-6.10   Closing Remarks
David Martin-Jones

8.00   Dinner for Speakers/Respondents



 How can insights relating to other (hyphen)-tourisms enhance our understanding of film tourism?

Are there similar characteristics between film tourism and other forms of tourism (whether they relate to population movements, environmental issues, societal impact, and so on), or indeed, does film tourism have unique characteristics which are influential in its functioning?

Should film tourism be considered a part of a larger form or forms of practice (such as heritage tourism more broadly, or integrated with television tourism, etc.)?

Is there one film tourism, or are there many film tourisms?

Are there any lacunas or opportunities to develop film tourism further, in Scotland or elsewhere?

Are there are any insights from other forms of (hyphen)-tourism which can enhance film tourism in Scotland?

What issues relating to the different regions of Scotland, with their specific rural and urban ecologies, and their histories of being represented on film/television in particular ways, should we consider when enhancing film tourism?

Key Questions for Industry Panel (and/or the Round Table):

What works well at present, based on your experience, and why? What could we do to improve things, or add value to the current situation?



Lizelle Bisschoff
From the local to the global: Film festival tourism in Scotland
In this paper I will discuss film festival tourism from the perspective of three different types of Scottish film festivals. I will use as case studies the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, and Africa in Motion Film Festival. Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is a world cinema festival targeting diverse (local and visiting) cinephile audiences as well as industry professionals, thus positioning itself as both an audience and industry festival. Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) is likewise a world cinema festival but one which is predominantly geared towards local and regional Scottish audiences. Africa in Motion (AiM), on the other hand, is a niche film festival programming African films for local audiences, including those from the African diaspora. These three festivals, with their distinct audiences, thus span different perspectives on and approaches to film festival tourism. These include film festival tourism as promotion of a specific location, generating cultural and and economic impact for this location, and enhancing a city’s image, as well as local communities appropriating film festivals for purposes such as self-identification and creation of a local sense of community and place. The paper will analyze the movement of people to these three film festivals, taking into consideration the local, regional, national, and international positioning of their audiences.

James Cateridge
From Brave (2012) to Balamory (2002-5): Comparing film and television tourism in Scotland
Should we think of film and television tourism as interchangeable activities, only to be separated by the size of the screen which inspires them? Or are they rather independent and distinct types of engagement between audiences, narrative and space? In this paper, I survey the existing academic research on film and television tourism to establish a critical consensus on the relationship between these two forms. I will also consider responses from the policy sector, including the use of film and television tourism to support the argument in favour of public funding for production activity in the UK. Finally I compare a range of screen products which have prompted tourists to travel to (or within) Scotland, to assess the similarities and differences between film and television tourism within a particular national context.

Donald MacLeod
Film tourism, cultural change and sustainability
This presentation explores the relationship between film, culture and tourism. It examines some of the ways that films can influence culture, including sustaining it, and outlines the impacts that film tourists have on culture in its broadest sense. Film tourism and its relationship to other types of tourism, such as cultural and heritage tourism will also be addressed. The presentation draws on worldwide sources and includes the fieldwork experience of the speaker in the Canary Islands and Scotland.  

Meghann Ormond
Of medicalised gazes and inner-space journeys: Constructing the ‘medical tourist'
On the face of it, medical tourism and film-induced tourism appear to have little to do with one another apart from holding a word in common. Indeed, growing numbers of scholars, travellers and industry practitioners have even come to find denoting people’s healthcare pursuits abroad as ‘medical tourism’ to be pejorative, seemingly downplaying the seriousness and urgency of their needs and aspirations with the frivolity with which ‘tourism’ is oftentimes associated. Those promoting ‘medical tourism’ destinations, therefore, must consider the complicated ways in which people considering travelling abroad for health care have come to construct and understand themselves, first, as patients and self-responsible consumers of medical services and, second, as capable of pursuing such services abroad as medical tourists/travellers. For this paper, I draw on Ostherr’s (2013) Medical Visions to consider the role of film, television and imaging technologies in shaping people’s inward-looking medicalised gazes and journeys – how, in other words, certain kinds of images are interpellating ‘medical tourists’ and both inducing and emerging from ‘medical tourism’ practices. As I come from a ‘medical tourism’-focused perspective, with this paper, I seek to provoke film tourism experts involved in this conference to consider the ways in which ‘film tourists’ are themselves imagined, desired and produced not only by the destinations seeking to receive them but also by and through other social actors and industries vying for their pocketbooks, hearts and minds.

Alan Riach
Cultural Tourism and Education: The Case of Scottish Literature
Literary tourism in Scotland was massive in the 19th century, following Scott's international best-seller poem The Lady of the Lake and his novels, but it had started before that – Keats beat a path to Burns's cottage and felt massive disappointment and anger at what he found there – and later, Mendelssohn made a musical masterpiece of Fingal's Cave that became so popular that its cliché obscures its accuracy. A few years ago, I wrote a booklet that was published by VisitScotland and the Association for Scottish Literary Studies: Literary Scotland: 60 Places to Visit. I'd like to talk about what the idea was, there, why I think it's valuable, how it relates to current work I'm doing on Scottish music and Scottish paintings and how these could relate to film. One question at the heart of this is the relation between popularly-known examples and less familiar but more important things (Braveheart or the Bill Douglas Trilogy), and that between work deliberately addressed from and to visitors to Scotland (I Know Where I'm Going), as opposed to that which is produced by and for long-term residents as well as an international audience (Bill Forsyth's Local Hero but also Margaret Tait's MacDiarmid), and what of work by and for the natives (for example, Hero, the first film in Gaelic, from 1982)? These overlap, of course, but they are different things.

Rodanthi Tzanelli
Developing e-tourism: Slumdog Millionaire’s digital realities
Slumdog Millionaire (2008, dirs. Danny Boyle & Loveen Tandan) has been successful in more than one way: not only did it receive international accolade as cinematic artwork, it also contributed to the development of a tourist industry in its principal filmed sites, the mega-slums of Juhu and Dharavi in Mumbai. This presentation discusses the conceptual subtext of such transitions from cinematic artwork to digitised (online) tourist business. It points out that the Slumdog Millionaire e-tourist industries had to disconnect the film and its new slum tourisms from the dark heritage of Mumbai’s slum histories of migration and poverty-as-exclusion. This move signposted Mumbai’s filmed slums as spaces of industriousness, family sociality and potential togetherness.
The shift from the dissemination of ‘dark’ (associated with slavery, death, exile and colonisation) to slum (poverty, inequality) and, finally, to utopian (the slum as the Edenic space of industrious families) tourist messages can be (and has been) treated as an answer to Mumbai’s developmental problems. At the same time, its alleged ideological basis (e.g. the objectification of slumdwellers in the film and now the cyberspace, where slum tours are advertised) poses ethical dilemmas. I explore the arguments of the major involved e-tourist stakeholders to discuss the traps and pitfalls of engaging with such precarious enterprise. I argue that, before exploring these ‘theses’ as normative statements, we should consider how they support different versions of what is ‘social reality’ and how society should function healthily. I stress that Slumdog Millionaire’s ‘multiple realities’ (of slums as terrestrial, political, historical, cinematic and now digital spaces) provide a series of different blueprints for making host-guest exchange work (or not) in cinematic tourist contexts.



Lizelle Bisschoff is a researcher in African film and the founder of the Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival, an annual African film festival taking place in Scotland, now in its tenth year ( Lizelle holds a PhD in African cinema from the University of Stirling in Scotland, in which she researched the role of women in African film. She has published widely on sub-Saharan African cinema and regularly attends African film festivals as speaker and jury member. After completing a two-year Leverhulme postdoctoral research fellowship on the emerging East African film industries at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre of African Studies, she is currently a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow, where she teaches African cinema and continues her research on contemporary African film.

James Cateridge is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Oxford Brookes University. His research on British cinema and film policy has been published (as James Caterer) in The Journal of British Cinema and Television, The International Journal of Cultural Policy and in his monograph The People’s Pictures (2011). His current research interests include the relationship between film and television tourisms and local, regional and national identities.

Donald MacLeod is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow. He has a DPhil in Social Anthropology (Oxford University) and has researched in the Caribbean, the Canary Islands and Scotland. His publications include the books: Sustainable Tourism in Rural Europe: Approaches to Development: (co-edited volume) 2011; Tourism, Power and Culture (2010 - co-editor); Tourism, Globalisation and Cultural Change (2004); Niche Tourism In Question (2003 - editor); Tourists and Tourism (1997 - co-editor). His research interests include the anthropology of tourism, sustainable tourism development, globalisation and cultural change, power, cultural heritage and identity.

Meghann Ormond is Assistant Professor in Cultural Geography at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. In light of her theoretical interests in biopolitics, care ethics and hospitality, Ormond’s research focuses mainly on international medical tourism/travel (IMT) and retirement migration (IRM). She examines how IMT and IRM destinations are developed and promoted as well as the effects of IMT and IRM on the quality and continuity of health and social care in countries that both generate and receive these mobile subjects. Her work provides insight into how shifting visions, practices and scales of citizenship and other forms of belonging transform countries’ and regions’ social and economic development agendas and impact their healthcare systems. She is the author of Neoliberal Governance and International Medical Travel in Malaysia (Routledge, 2013) as well as of several articles and chapters on transnational health and social care issues and hospitality in Asia, Europe and the Caribbean.

Alan Riach is the Professor of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University and past-President of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2006-10. Born in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1957, he is the general editor of the Collected Works of Hugh MacDiarmid, the author of Representing Scotland in Literature, Popular Culture and Iconography and co-author with Alexander Moffat of both Arts of Resistance: Poets, Portraits and Landscapes of Modern Scotland, described by the Times Literary Supplement as ‘a landmark book’ and Arts of Independence: The Cultural Argument and Why It Matters Most (2014). His fifth book of poems, Homecoming (2009), follows Clearances (2001), First & Last Songs (1995), An Open Return (1991) and This Folding Map (1990). Formerly Associate Professor at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, he has been living in Scotland since 2001.

Rodanthi Tzanelli is Associate Professor of Cultural Sociology at Leeds, UK. Her research interests include globalisation, cosmopolitanism and mobility, with emphasis on tourism, migration, social movements and art theory.
Rodanthi has been visiting staff twice at CEMORE, Sociology (Lancaster University) and at Anthropology, Oxford University. She currently serves on the editorial board of journals such as Cultural Sociology, Anuario de Turismo y Sociedad and the Athens Journal of Social Sciences (AJSS), and on the international advisory boards of the Global Studies Community (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), EUMEDNET (Group de la Universidad de Málaga íntegramente a través de Internet) and the Ikarian Center for Social and Political Research, Greece.
She is author of several digital interventions, over 60 academic articles and eight scholarly monographs, including the forthcoming Mobility, Modernity and the Slum: The Real and Virtual Journeys of Slumdog Millionaire (Routledge, 2015).


Industry Speakers

Lloret Dunn is a Locations Manager with over 20 years of experience in Film, TV and Commercials with Paramount Pictures (World War Z), Universal Pictures (Doomsday), Warner Bros. (The Jacket), BBC (Sea of Souls, The Old Guys), STV (Dr. Finlay), The Comedy Unit (Rab C Nesbitt) and many more.

Anna Rathband is the Filming Manager for the National Trust for Scotland, responsible for promoting the Trust's natural and built properties for filming and photography. Having studied English literature and film at the University of Dundee, Anna has previously held the role of film commissioner for Fife and Tayside facilitating filming for productions including Antiques Roadshow, The Great British Bake Off, The Railway Man and Under the Skin, and has worked as Production Coordinator for an Edinburgh-based production company specialising in adverts, brand films and museum interpretation. Anna has also produced and production managed several independent award-winning short films. The National Trust for Scotland is the nation’s leading conservation charity. The organisation is very film friendly, and its properties have been featured in numerous productions including Glencoe and the historical village Culross in films such as Skyfall, The Queen, Captain America: The First Avenger and Dark Knight Rises, TV programmes such as Outlander, Rab C. Nesbitt, Grand Tours of the Scottish Isles and Antiques Road Trip, and numerous adverts and photo shoots. In addition to promoting the National Trust for Scotland's properties for filming and photography, Anna also leads on developing the legacy of film tourism and set-jetting at Trust properties.

Jennifer Reynolds is Film Commissioner at Glasgow Film Office, based in Development and Regeneration Services in Glasgow City Council. Glasgow Film Office is the film commission for Scotland's largest city, offering a free service to all productions including feature films, television, commercials, music videos, etc. Its remit is to market Glasgow as a premier UK centre for film and TV production and to facilitate location filming in the city. The goal of Glasgow Film Office is to ensure a flourishing industry that benefits the entire city.  Economic impact from production activity in Glasgow over the past 4 years is estimated at £82m, and includes such productions as Under The Skin, World War Z, Shetland, Cloud Atlas, MI High and Waterloo Road.

Jenni Steele is Head of Partnership Communications at VisitScotland. She has over 15 years’ experience in tourism and public relations, event planning and corporate communications. Jenni  is also Film Tourism Project Manager for VisitScotland and has led significant tourism-related campaigns with studios including Sony Pictures International, Universal Pictures, Dreamworks and, recently, Disney Pixar, on the promotion of the movie Brave. She is also a Board Director of Fife Cultural Trust and has a keen interest in developing opportunities around cultural tourism.



Tim Edensor teaches cultural geography at Manchester Metropolitan University.  He is the author of Tourists at the Taj (198), National Identity, Popular Culture and Everyday Life (2002) and Industrial Ruins: Space, Aesthetics and Materiality, as well as the editor of Geographies of Rhythm (2010) and co-editor of Spaces of Vernacular Creativity (2009) and Urban Theory Beyond the West: A World of Cities (2011).  He is editor of Tourist Studies. Tim has written extensively on national identity, tourism, industrial ruins, walking, driving, football cultures and urban materiality and is currently investigating landscapes of illumination and darkness

Ysanne Holt is an art historian with an interest in the social and historical relations between forms of cultural production, and in this spirit was founding editor of the Routledge journal Visual Culture in Britain, now in its fifteenth volume. She has a special concern with cultural landscapes and, since her 2003 monograph, British Artists and the Modernist Landscape, has published on the experience and interpretations of the UK north, past and present, focusing now in particular on the shifting identities of marginal or ‘at edge’ sites such as borders and island locations. She is currently writing a book on art and visual culture of the interwar period, and co-editing an anthology of essays on subjects relating to visual culture and the northern British archipelago.