Public History Prize
Aaron Floresco & Rhonda Hinther, “The Oldest Profession in Winnipeg: The ‘Red Light’ District of 1909-1912” (Documentary film by Past Perfect Productions, 2011).
This engaging documentary film tells the provocative story of Winnipeg’s Red Light district in the early twentieth century. The filmmaker, Aaron Floresco, deftly combines strong historical content with an impressive array of creative elements—historical re-enactment, music, advanced editing of archival photographs and documents; animated maps; and interviews with experts. The writers, Floresco and Rhonda Hinther, effectively use the records of a commission of inquiry as the basis for their storyline, drawing out the character and perspective of police, prostitutes, “johns,” and brothel operators. The result is a high-quality production that makes this controversial moment in Winnipeg’s past inviting and accessible to a wide public audience.