Tasmania is becoming a coveted destination for film and TV production. Is it because of the ‘Mona effect’? Is it because there are stories only our landscapes can tell? Or it is something entirely different?

Anna Halipilias is currently studying for her PhD in Media, and her research project is examining content tourism. A self-confessed film nerd, she’s always been keen on travel and said it’s “natural” for her to be drawn to film tourism.

Content tourism is basically looking at narrative and how that motivates us as a community to travel.

“There are also emotional ties between characters and fans that they want to relive. Part of my research is also looking at fan performance, because I think there is a level of immersion for fans when they visit film sites.”

Anna gathered valuable information for her project when she was one of a group of School of Creative Arts and Media students who had the chance to visit the set of The Gloaming, a new crime drama from writer Victoria Madden who created The Kettering Incident. Parts of the show were filmed on the University campus.

The Gloaming promises to be just as bleak and intriguing, and like The Kettering Incident, the story as well as the production is based in Tasmania.

“I’m definitely interested to look at why big productions like The Gloaming are coming to film in Tassie.

I think a lot of it has to do with the unique landscape that we have here.

“Tasmania is getting a lot more attention these days. I think it’s because we’re getting more attention overseas.

“I know that with The Nightingale they just got recognised at Venice Film Festival which is fantastic,” Anna said. 

It’s definitely a place that has a lot of amazing darkness and noir that is going to be used in a lot of these film and television productions. It’s iconic Tassie.

Anna will be using an ethnographic study, with lots of participatory observations, interviews and surveys.

“I’ll also be doing some textual analysis of three Tasmanian sites, Kettering (The Kettering Incident), the Huon Valley (Rosehaven), and Ross Bakery (Kiki’s Delivery Service). 

Tasmania is a small place, so you can really see the effects of film and television in the community.

“That’s why it’s important we put a microscope on this and have a look at what’s happening.”

Interested in conducting your own research? Apply now to become a research student.

Find out more about studying Media here.