FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 14, 2022 (Vancouver BC): Cameras have started rolling on Vancouver-based Canadian-British-Filipina director, Kim Albright’s debut feature film With Love and A Major Organ with regional production funding from Telefilm Canada, along with the WIDC Feature Film Award which includes in kind sponsorships from screen industry companies across the country.
The off-beat comedy screenplay is written by Julia Lederer, whose award-winning stage play of the same name premiered at the Toronto Fringe Festival, ﬁnding success and touring North America to cities including Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Set in a world where hearts are made of inanimate objects and people suppress emotions to escape into technology, the story shares the travails of a vibrant young woman who rips out her heart for the man she loves, who promptly disappears with it. With flairs of magic realism, With Love and a Major Organ promises to stretch our imaginations as it artfully articulates the courage it takes to be true to your own heart.
The film’s stellar cast includes Anna Maguire (Violation, TIFF 2020), as protagonist Anabel, a compassionate ‘fish out of water’ in an emotionally disconnected society, Hamza Haq (NBC / CTV’s Transplant), as George, the kind but mild-mannered man she feels a rare bond with, and much-celebrated veteran actor, Veena Sood (CTV’s Children Ruin Everything) as Mona, George’s over-protective but brilliant mother whose emotion-suppressing techniques have revolutionized the not so distant world from our own, in which the story is set.
“I’m thrilled to be turning this dream into a reality. It’s taken a lot of hard work from a lot of people to get to this point. I’m really excited by the diverse cast and crew that we’ve assembled”, says director Kim Albright. “The support from the entire team, including funders, sponsors and community, has been tremendous.”
The team is helmed by producer, Madeleine Davis whose previous projects have screened at TIFF, VIFF and SXSW. Executive producers include multi-award-winners, Lori Lozinski (The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open), and Carol Whiteman who is executive producer on eleven WIDC Feature Film Award films and known for her role as co-creator and producer of Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Past winners of the WIDC Feature Film Award, writer/directors Marie Clements (Red Snow) and Sonia Bonspille Boileau (Rustic Oracle), have recently wrapped production on subsequent industry-supported projects: Clements’ epic Bones of Crows for CBC Films, and Bonspille Boileau’s limited series Pour toi, Flora for cbc-radio-canada. Shelley Thompson’s heart-felt family drama, Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor is soon being released national-wide and internationally. All have earned multiple national and international awards and nominations.
Shooting now through to the end of February 2022, With Love and a Major Organ has also been supported in development through the Canadian Film Centre Director’s Lab (2018), the Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) Story & Leadership Program (2019), the Whistler Film Festival Praxis Screenwriters Lab (2019) and was shortlisted for the Sundance Feature Film Development Lab (2019). The project received additional development support from the Bell Media Harold Greenberg Fund, and in 2020, Albright received the CBC Films WIDC Talent Development Award which brought award-winning screenwriter Anita Doron (The Lesser Blessed, The Breadwinner) on board as story consultant.
WITH LOVE AND A MAJOR ORGAN | dark comedy / magic realism feature film
In Anabel’s world human hearts are made of inanimate objects. Everyone seems detached from their feelings and addicted to their technological devices. But not Anabel. She feels everything and craves connection. When she meets George, a kind but mild-mannered man, she feels a rare bond with another human being. After a series of painful rejections, plus news of her mother’s death, Anabel vows to forgo the perils of living a life too full of feeling. She rips out her heart and sends it to George. Unable to offer anything in return, George, compelled by Anabel’s heart, disappears on a joy ride while Anabel’s world starts to fade. When George’s over-protective mother, Mona shows up searching for her son, Anabel learns that without a heart of some kind, Anabel won’t survive. Racing against time to set things right, Mona and Anabel ﬁnd George and Anabel summons the courage to get her own heart back.
ANNA MAGUIRE | Anabel
Anna Maguire has most recently co-stared in the feature film Violation which premiered at TIFF in 2020, Sundance 2021, SXSW 2021, and is now out on Shudder. She won the Best Actress Award at Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival 2019 for her performance in Constellations, for which she was also nominated at the 2018 Underwire Film Festival. Anna was nominated for the Best Performance Award at the 2019 Loco Comedy Film Festival for her role in The Director, directed by Kim Albright.
HAMZA HAQ | George
Named one of Canada’s Rising Stars by The Hollywood Reporter in 2017, Hamza Haq is best known for his role in CTV medical drama Transplant for which he earned a 2021 Canadian Screen Award for Best Lead Actor. He appears opposite Margaret Qualley in My Salinger Year, which opened the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2020. He has also played memorable supporting roles in Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 and The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, directed by Xavier Dolan, as well as Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! and Run this Town.
VEENA SOOD | Mona
Veena Sood is a multi-award-winning actress of Indian descent, recognized for her versatility in both comedy and drama. Veena has appeared in numerous plays, ﬁlms, television series, and continues to perform her improvisation shows. Veena has an established career with over 150 credits to her name and can currently be seen in CTV’s new half-hour comedy series, Children Ruin Everything.
KIM ALBRIGHT | director
Kim is an award winning Canadian-British, half Filipino director. She featured on the British Film Institute (BFI) Upshot Program, showcasing ‘the most exciting emerging UK filmmaking talent. Her shorts have won awards and competed worldwide, including at the BAFTA-qualifying Encounters Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival, British Independent Film Festival, Oscar-qualifying Atlanta International Film Festival. She is alumna of the Canadian Film Centre Director’s Lab (2018), the Canadian Academy Director’s Program for Women (2019), Women In the Director’s Chair Story & Leadership (2019/20) and recipient of the CBC Films WIDC Talent Development Award, and the WIDC Feature Film Award (2020).
JULIA LEDERER | writer
Julia is an internationally acclaimed writer. As a playwright her work has been produced across North America and recently in Paris. With Love and a Major Organ was part of the Theatre @ Boston Court’s Polly Warfield Award-winning season in 2017 and nominated for “Best Production” by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. As a screenwriter, her work has been included in the Toronto International Film Festival, the LA Comedy Shorts Festival, Cinequest Film Festival, Breakthroughs, and the Canadian Film Fest (award-winner).
MADELEINE DAVIS | producer
Madeleine is a feature film and commercial producer with a decade of experience across production roles. Her work has played at festivals such as South by Southwest and TIFF and has received recognition from the UK Music Video Awards, the Juno Awards, and the Prism Prize, as well as multiple Vimeo Staff Picks. She has also worked on the production teams of award-winning Canadian Features such as The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open (world premiere Berlin ’19), Freaks (TIFF ’18), Never Steady, Never Still (TIFF ’17) and Hello Destroyer (TIFF ’16).
LORI LOZINSK | executive producer
Lori Lozinski is a Producer/Director/Writer based in Vancouver who focuses on female narratives. recent films include the Canada/Norway Co-Produced feature film The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open that has its World Premiere at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival; and the documentary Retake that premiered on CBC Digital in the fall of 2018. In 2017, Lori executive produced the feature film Never Steady, Never Still written & directed by Kathleen Hepburn. It was nominated for eight Canadian Screen Awards including Best Film and is included in the prestigious Canada’s Top 10 from TIFF.
CAROL WHITEMAN | executive producer
Best known as co-creator and producer of Canada’s internationally respected Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) program, Dr. Carol Whiteman is a two-time Governor General’s award nominee and multiple award-winner for promoting gender equality in Canada’s screen industry. Since 1997, Whiteman has worked tirelessly to advance the careers, fiction feature films, network television and web series of a generation of female screen writers and directors across Canada and internationally. Through WIDC, she has produced over 150 short films and is executive producer on ten award-winning feature films including Red Snow (2019); Rustic Oracle (2019); and Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor (2021).
Celebrating 25 years of advancing the careers and narrative fiction screen projects of Canadian women directors, Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) was founded in 1996/97 through an initial collaboration among ACTRA, the Banff Centre, and Women In Film and Television Vancouver. Over 300 director alumnae working across Canada and around the globe, have directed 1000’s of hours of quality screen entertainment. WIDC is presented with major support from Telefilm Canada, CBC Films, and with the participation and support of ACTRA National, Actra Fraternal Benefit Society, Creative BC, and the Independent Production Fund.
WIDC Feature Film Award is supported by Panavision Canada, Sim Group, Keslow Camera Film and Digital, RAW Camera, William F. White International Inc., North Shore Studios, Company 3, Encore VFX, Elemental Post Production, Kalos Studios, Post Moderne, Walter Lighting & Grip, The Bridge Studios, Vancouver Film Studios, Whites LES, Portable Electric, The Research House Clearances Inc, Descriptive Video Works, Front Row Insurance, National Captioning Canada, Line-21 Media Services Inc., EP Canada, Signal Systems.
WIDC also appreciates community collaborations with the Director’s Guild of Canada, WIFT Vancouver’s International Women in Film Festival, Female Eye Film Festival, St John’s International Women’s Film Festival, Reelworld Film Festival, BANFF, TIFF, VIFF, Crazy 8’s, and the Whistler Film Festival.