CBC Films renews WIDC commitment for 2021 in support of underrepresented voices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 18, 2020 (Vancouver BC): Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) organizers are delighted to announce that Vancouver-based filmmaker Kim Albright is the 2020 winner of two major WIDC awards: the CBC Films WIDC Talent Development Award worth $10,000 cash, and the WIDC Feature Film Award valued at up to $200,000 in kind services and rentals for her feature film directorial debut, With Love and a Major Organ.

The first award, the CBC Films WIDC Talent Development Award, is a $10,000 development prize designed to support the advancement of the voices of underrepresented talent. It includes a director’s chair bursary towards Albright’s participation in the WIDC Story & Leadership program along with funds to assist with script polish and packaging. Following its support of the award in 2020, CBC Films has renewed its commitment, for $25,000, to the WIDC Story & Leadership program for 2021.

“I’m excited to complete this final stage of script development with our wonderful team,” says Kim Albright. “Production is now truly within reach, thanks to WIDC, CBC Films, and the sponsors of the Feature Film Award, all of which I am grateful for.”

Albright is also the recipient of the 2020 WIDC Feature Film Award. Selected by a nationally representative jury of peers, the prize includes in-kind production and post production services and rentals valued at up to $200,000 from Canada’s most influential companies, including William F. White International Inc. which recently confirmed another three-year commitment to the WIDC Feature Film Award program.

“Congratulations to Kim on the well-deserved awards, and we look forward to seeing her film brought to the screen,” says Mehernaz Lentin, Senior Director, CBC Films. “We’re pleased to announce the renewal of our partnership with the Women In the Director’s Chair program for another year, as part of our commitment to supporting and developing original Canadian stories and to give a tangible boost to the careers of Canadian women directors.”

Set in a technologically advanced but antiseptic world where people go to extreme lengths to avoid the messiness of their emotions, With Love and a Major Organ is a cautionary tale about thirty-something Anabel who is determined to follow the sometimes off beat of her own often overactive heart.

With Love and a Major Organ is based on the hit play of the same name written by Julia Lederer. Albright and Lederer began developing the screenplay adaptation during Albright’s 2018 Canadian Film Centre residency. Lederer further developed the script as part of the 2019 Whistler Film Festival Writers Lab while Albright workshopped it through WIDC Story & Leadership. The project has also received development support from Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund and has been green lit for production by Telefilm Canada.

The film will be produced by Madeleine Davis with executive producers Lori Lozinski (The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open) and WIDC’s Carol Whiteman. Whiteman has executive produced eight of the ten feature films supported through the WIDC Feature Film Award since 2009 when the award was launched.

Films by past winners of the WIDC Feature Film Award, Marie Clements (Red Snow), Sonia Bonspille Boileau (Rustic Oracle), and Gloria Ui Young Kim (Queen of the Morning Calm) were released this year and have earned multiple international awards and nominations. Clements and Bonspille Boileau’s films were also supported by CBC Films and each director is now in development with CBC / CBC-Radio Canada on their respective new original limited series; and Shelley Thompson is now in post production with her debut feature, Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor, having shot through summer 2020 in Nova Scotia.


2020 CBC Films WIDC Talent Development Award & WIDC Feature Film Award – Winner Bio

Kim Albright (BC) – With Love and a Major Organ (feature film)
Showcased among “the most exciting emerging UK filmmaking talent” coming out of the British Film Institute (BFI) Upshot Program, Canadian-British-Filipina filmmaker, Kim Albright started her directing career in music videos and commercials for high profile products like New Era, Mars and Skittles. Kim’s Dr. Pepper ‘Chatroulette’ spot clocked up over 1 million hits on YouTube. 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 and Oscar-qualifying Atlanta International Film Festival. Her shorts have also found distribution through Canal+. One of Kim’s recent short films, The Purple Plain, inspired by the Mercury 13 (the thirteen American female pilots who tested for spaceflight in the 1960s), had its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival and earned her the Best Director award at the Scinema International Film Festival, Australia.

Kim is also an alumna of the Canadian Film Centre Directors’ Lab, Canadian Academy’s Directors Program for Women; and Women In the Director’s Chair Story & Leadership program where she developed With Love and a Major Organ in 2019-20.

About CBC Films
CBC Films funds high-quality features that reflect, represent, and reframe a range of perspectives through character-driven stories that are at the centre of the Canadian experience, spanning 24 features to date led by female, LGBTQ2+, Indigenous and diverse filmmakers. CBC Films has also supported 21 titles to date through pre-buys. With a new Canadian film added to the CBC Gem streaming library each week, CBC strives to create an unparalleled destination for Canadians to discover homegrown film.

About WIDC
Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) is an internationally respected Canadian professional development offering, founded in 1997 through an initial collaboration among ACTRA, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Women In Film and Television Vancouver. WIDC is specially designed to advance the skills, careers and fiction screen projects of women directors. With over 275 director alumnae across Canada who have directed 1000’s of hours of quality screen entertainment, WIDC is presented with major support from Telefilm Canada, CBC Films, with the participation and support of ACTRA National, UBCP/ACTRA, Actra Fraternal Benefit Society, Creative BC, Independent Production Fund.

Some of Canada’s most influential companies have supported WIDC Awards including Panavision Canada, Sim Group, Keslow Camera Film and Digital, William F. White International Inc., North Shore Studios, Company 3 (formerly Encore Vancouver), Technicolor Toronto, Skylab Vancouver, White Hart Post Production, Post Moderne, Walter Lighting & Grip, The Bridge Studios, Vancouver Film Studios, The Research House Clearances Inc, Descriptive Video Works, Front Row Insurance, National Captioning Canada, Line-21.

WIDC also appreciates community collaborations with WIFT Vancouver’s International Women in Film Festival, Female Eye Film Festival, St John’s International Women’s Film Festival, and the Whistler Film Festival.

For Pictures and Full Bios click here

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Media Contact: Nicola Pender, Pender PR, 604-617-4807, nicola@penderpr.com

Program Contact: Carol Whiteman, WIDC Co-creator & Producer, 778-809-0747; carol@widc.ca