This paper explores the development of film tourism in Skåne, the southernmost region of Sweden. The point of departure is the research framework developed within the ongoing 6th Framework project EURODITE highlighting knowledge dynamics at regional and firm levels.
On the conceptual level, the research framework includes two integrated knowledge dynamics; territorial knowledge dynamics and firm level knowledge dynamics. The territorial knowledge dynamics concern knowledge exchange, networks and interactions between different actors from a spatial perspective. Key actors may include firms, higher education institutions, chambers of commerce and regional authorities. The spatial focus stresses the importance of the regional level at the same time as it emphasises that interaction is not constrained to an administrative regional level. On the contrary, territorial knowledge dynamics are seen as multi-scalar that may include important interactions at great distances. Understanding the territorial knowledge dynamics demands probing issues such as the role of proximity and distance in terms of knowledge interactions, and the importance of mobility of different actors and individuals. Special attention is paid to how various types of policies affect the knowledge dynamics. These policies may stem from supranational, national, regional or local level, but it is the way that the policies are played out at the regional level that is in focus.
The firm level knowledge dynamics concern how knowledge is developed and transferred at a micro level; within a firm or an organisation, or within a network of firms or organisations. The research framework uses a knowledge biography approach in investigating these knowledge dynamics starting from a change in product, process or organisation. The empirical research is carried out through case studies using narrative interviews. Key events of knowledge interaction are identified in an attempt to understand the processes and the role of different actors aiming at ‘telling the story’ of the change from idea to implementation. There are links between the firm level knowledge dynamics and the territorial knowledge dynamics, e.g. through interaction between different actors.
The empirical study presented in the paper deals with the development of film tourism in Skåne. This type of tourism has expanded in the last decade, mainly triggered by the influx of tourists to the small town of Ystad, which is the base for Henning Mankell’s books about Inspector Wallander. The first book was published in 1991, and they have since been translated to over 35 languages and become international bestsellers. The books generated tourists, particularly from Germany, that visited Ystad to walk Wallander’s streets. In 2004, 13 Wallander films were shot in and around Ystad. The release of these films triggered an influx of film tourists that wanted to visit the studios, Wallander’s office in the police station, his flat and so on. These new demands triggered the local authorities to develop more than the Wallander maps that had been produced in response to the literature tourists. In the summer 2006 a project started Cineteket, an attraction focusing on films produced in Ystad and including guided tours of the studios.
Due to the high profile of the Wallander films, that also include a BBC production with Kenneth Branagh in 2008 and a series of 13 new Wallander films 2008-2009, it is easy to interpret film production in Skåne as a recent phenomenon. However, this is not the case. The first Swedish feature films were, in fact, shot in a studio in another Skåne town, Kristianstad, some 80 kilometres north of Ystad. This studio is now a Film Museum with an additional permanent exhibition about Skåne in Swedish films in the regional museum in Kristianstad. A third film related heritage in the region is the Hasse & Tage Museum in Tomelilla, a small town 15 kilometres north of Ystad. The duo Hasse Alfredsson and Tage Danielsson were very versatile artists that produced shows, radio and films during the 1960s-1980s. Many of these films were shot in and around Tomelilla. The Hasse & Tage Museum opened in 2006. It is a unique museum of only 15m2 that only fits eight visitors at a time. The three film attractions, Cineteket in Ystad, the Film Museum in Kristianstad and the Hasse & Tage Museum in Tomelilla have now started collaborating within the concept of ‘the Film Track’.
The paper discusses and analyses the growing film tourism and the development of the Film Track, using the conceptual framework of territorial and firm level knowledge dynamics.
Regional Studies Association Euroopean Conference 'Understanding and Shaping Regions: Spatial, Social and Economic Futures', Leuven, Belgium 6-8 April 2009