Love somewhere because of a movie?


Simon Barber (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Greens Pool in Denmark, Western Australia, catches the last of the evening glow.

Yunqi Yu, Reporter

What make’s you love a some-place?

Does someone famous live there? Does it have a moving story? Are there songs written about it?

But have you ever traveled somewhere because of a movie? According to Champion Traveler, a popular movie can increase tourism to a featured location by 31%.

The coming-of-age tale Breath may be the next big thing that attracts tourism to the south-west town of Denmark.

Breath, which is based on a Tim Winton novel of the same name, was filmed entirely along the state’s south coast and set in the town of Denmark. The release of Australian actor and director Simon Baker’s new movie, which was shot over six weeks in 2016, may create a wave of publicity for the town.

“The book was written with the author’s experience of the Denmark region as inspiration, so it’s no surprise that our spectacular coastline works perfectly for the film. The director is very happy the movie was made here in Denmark,” Denmark Shire councillor Peter Caron, told us.

Aside from the novel location, the beautiful natural environment also made Denmark a unique place for filming, as another councillor of Denmark Shire, Michael Evans, told us.

“The scenery is amazing with spectacular coastlines, inlets and rivers, massive karri trees all set against a small coastal town where footage can be acquired with only nature as the backdrop. There is no place in Australia quite like it.”

Despite Denmark’s irreplaceable strengths, it is still a quiet place, which means not too many people know it.

“Because Denmark is relatively unknown on the east coast of Australia, currently around 78% of tourists are from the Perth metro area, so I hope the movie will expose Denmark to a new target market.”

Evans said that, according to TourismWA stats, Denmark currently attracts 510,580 visitor nights a year while Albany, which is bigger but nearby, attracts 1,736,900. The region has a goal of 3 million visitor nights by 2021.

“The most visited place is Greens Pool with around 265,000 visitors per year. Some of the footage in Breath was shot at Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks. It is arguably the most scenic natural pool in Australia, yet very few people have seen it. The movie could change this.”

Caron believes people will be attracted by the incredible environment.

The filming process also brought valuable memories to Denmark residents. The local community is intrigued by the film, and easily see why Denmark was the natural choice. After all, they have the same reasons why to have chosen to live there.

During filming the production crew merged seamlessly into the town. Some residents gave suggestions on the best locations to shoot, and youth were cast in the film. Director Simon Baker himself spent a good deal of time scouting out locations.

caron hopes the film will increase Denmark’s tourism numbers.

“We have already started letting people know about our region with the “Amazing South Coast” tourism promotion.

“We’ve been a bit of a secret until now.”