The Brothel Project



Premieres Wednesday, June 9th at 10pm ET/PT on Global as Part of the ‘Currents’ Original Documentary Series

Narration for the ‘The Brothel Project’ features internationally renowned actor Carly Pope (24,Californication)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  - VANCOUVER, BC – MAY 2010 – From Canadian producer and writer, Gillian Hrankowski and director April Butler-Parry,comes ‘THE BROTHEL PROJECT’. The one-hour controversialdocumentary follows journalist / activist Jody Paterson and educator and retired sex worker Lauren Casey as they challenge mainstream thinking by pushing the legal limits of prostitution and open a co-op brothel operated by sex workers – for sex workers – in Victoria, BC.

Premiering Wednesday, June 9th at 10pm ET/PT on Global, ‘THE BROTHEL PROJECT’ was recently nominated for a 2010 Leo Award for Best Short Documentary Program or Series and received rave reviews during its screening at the 2010 Victoria Film Festival.

Filmed in New Zealand, Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, ‘THE BROTHEL PROJECT’ follows these two dynamic women-on-a-mission and their foray into the world of modern day prostitution in the tea and crumpets city of Victoria, BC.  Jody and Lauren find that they are not the only advocates in search of creating a safe haven for prostitutes; along with booking agent, Harvi and a young prostitute named Mia, they all have dreams of building a ‘better brothel.’

“This is just a business, and a start up business has to nail everything,” states Jody Paterson.

Both Jody and Lauren are aware of at least four underground brothels operating in Victoria, BC, under the guise of massage parlours or escort agencies and almost 1000 independent escorts licensed with the city who are working as indoor sex workers. While the act of prostitution itself is technically not illegal in Canada, everything surrounding it is.

This foursome team up to create a new company called Victoria Independent Providers (VIP), which everyone seems to support. The business plan even includes a portion of the profits be donated to social charities that work to get prostitutes off the streets. However, a research trip to New Zealand reveals that even in a decriminalized environment, nothing is perfect. Is society even ready to accept that a whorehouse might be up and running next door? If not, are nay-sayers going to sit back and stay quiet?

Humanizing a world riddled with myths and pre-conceived notions, ‘THE BROTHEL PROJECT’ takes viewers on a revealing ride that makes us wonder if a mainstream bordello not only could be, but should be possible. Watch as these four unlikely partners take a six-month journey to try to challenge stereotypes, buck the legal system and build a safe work place for indoor prostitutes.

The narration for ‘THE BROTHEL PROJECT’ features internationally renowned actor Carly Pope, who is currently gearing up  to start shooting in the NBC mini-series ‘Day One’ and in the Canadian Indie Film ‘Textuality’. Carly is an active mentor who works with youth organizations, including Options for Sexual Health (formerly Planned Parenthood BC) and for Young Storytellers Foundation. Carly is best known for  her recurring roles on ‘24’ and ‘Californication,’and her independent features include ‘Young People Fucking’ and ‘Toronto Stories.’

Executive produced by Force Four Entertainment, ‘THE BROTHEL PROJECT’ was produced in association with Canwest with assistance from the Canadian Television Fund. 

Please check your local listings or visit for more information. 

For more information on the Leo Awards, visit:

**Gillian Hrankowski is available for interviews upon request. For photos and interview requests, please contact Tanya Tweten at The Promotion People.


About Gillian Hrankowski  - Canadian producer, director and writer, Gillian Hrankowski, graduated from BCIT's Broadcast Journalism Program and started her career working at CTV's Gabereau Live!. Then, working for CBC Vancouver, Gillian worked in various aspects of production including co-creating and programming for 'See BC on CBC', 'Docs on the Coast', and, in latter years, held the position as Manager of Industry Relations for the Program Development Group.  As Head of Development for Infinity Films, Gillian associate produced the documentary "Expedition Coast Wolf" for ZDF Germany and "Chasing the Tango High" for Bravo!.   In 2006, she directed and wrote the ‘Silver Chris’ awarded documentary ‘Not Just A Bad Day: Living With Bipolar Disorder’, and produced ‘Branded: Saving Our Town’ for Canwest’s flagship documentary strand Global Currents which received Leo nomination and ‘The Chris Statuette’ award. Gillian also co-produced ‘Tailor Made’ for CBC's The Lens. This year, Gillian directed two episodes for the Gemini awarding winning television series ‘X-WEIGHTED’ (Anaid Productions) for Slice and most recently completed producing and writing her second documentary for Canwest, ‘THE BROTHEL PROJECT’, executive produced by Force Four Entertainment.

About April Butler-Parry - April began her career in production in Community Programming, first at Kamloops Cablenet then as the youngest Community Programming Manager for Comox Valley Cablenet. After nine years she moved on and put her diverse talents to work as the Director of Photography for ‘Nice Fish Series’, and editor for the CTV documentary ‘The Vanishing Housewife’. As a freelancer, April worked for CTV, CBC, Global, Sports Page, Prime, CHEK, and Chum Television in various capacities over the years. She was sought after for key positions because of her strong reputation as a creative, diverse storyteller. April was also a director for The New VI television news and helped launched the station in October 2001. She directed talk shows, music performances, and social issue and arts based roundtables.  In 2006, April took a dramatic turn from news broadcast to follow her passion to direct documentaries. Her Directorial debut required April to draw upon her foundation skills as a cameraperson and storyteller allowing for intimate access to the unseen world of prostitution.

About Force Four Entertainment - Based in Vancouver, BC, Force Four Entertainment began operations in 1983, and has grown into one of Canada’s most successful and respected television producers. The company has produced more than 300 hours of primetime broadcast programming, earning accolades on the national and international stage.  Awards include the prestigious Peabody Award, 10 Gemini Awards and over 25 Gemini nominations.  Force Four Entertainment programming includes drama, lifestyle and documentary projects for Canadian and American networks such as CBC, Global, CTV, City, Discovery, Slice, W Network, Lifetime, TVtropolis, Fox Reality, Oxygen, Discovery Health, Fine Living and Sundance Channel and its programs are distributed and viewed worldwide.  Force Four Entertainment is owned by President Rob Bromley, Executive Producer John Ritchie and Director of Business Affairs Gillian Lowrey.

For further information, screeners, photos and to coordinate an interview, contact:

Tanya Tweten – Publicist  - p: 604-872-2352 e:

Jacqueline Kendall - Publicist - Global Television
p: 416.934.7850  or

 Gillian Hrankowski
Producer and Writer for‘THE BROTHEL PROJECT’
Force Four Entertainment

For more information, visit:

The Brothel Project