Kim Albright’s debut feature
With Love and a Major Organ
Set to World Premiere at SXSW
Vancouver-based Canadian-British-Filipina director, Kim Albright’s debut feature film With Love and A Major Organ will have its world premiere at the prestigious South By Southwest Festival (March 10 to 19, 2023).
With Love will be screened as part of the Visions programme at South By, with screening dates to be announced shortly.
Produced with regional production funding from Telefilm Canada, along with the WIDC Feature Film Award (in kind sponsorships from screen industry companies across the country) the off-beat comedy screenplay is written by Julia Lederer. Her award-winning stage play of the same name premiered at the Toronto Fringe Festival to major success and toured cities across North America 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 deftly played by Anna Maguire (Violation, TIFF 2020), who rips out her heart for the man she loves, played to mild-mannered perfection by Hamza Haq (NBC / CTV’s Transplant) 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 cast is rounded out by much-celebrated veteran actor, Veena Sood (CTV’s Children Ruin Everything) as an over-protective but brilliant mother whose emotion-suppressing techniques have revolutionized this not-so-distant world from our own, in which the story is set.
“To premiere With Love and a Major Organ at SXSW feels like a dream come true,” says director Kim Albright. “The festival is at the forefront of creativity where innovative minds come together. We’re so grateful for the incredible commitment and hard work our cast, crew and sponsor collaborators have put into this beautiful film and can’t wait for audiences to enjoy it.”
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 12 WIDC Feature Film Award films and known for her role as co-creator and producer of Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC).
Past winners of WIDC’s Feature Film Award, writer/directors Marie Clements (Red Snow) and Sonia Bonspille Boileau (Rustic Oracle), have recently produced subsequent industry-supported projects: Clements’ epic Bones of Crows for CBC Films and APTN, and Bonspille Boileau’s limited series Pour toi, Flora for cbc-radio-canada.
With Love and a Major Organ has 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 a world where everyone’s heart is an object and there’s a strong societal pressure to dampen emotion, lonely Virtual Insurance broker Anabel (Anna Maguire) always follows her heart. At odds with this overly pragmatic society, and after a series of devastating emotional blows, she rips her heart from her chest and gives it to a man she’s fallen for, the dutifully unfeeling George (Hamza Haq). Unburdened by her exuberant yet cumbersome heart, Anabel finds life easier. George, on the other hand, begins to feel everything, to the shock of his overbearing mother, Mona (Veena Sood). Anabel soon realizes she needs to get her heart back if she’s going to survive.
ANNA MAGUIRE | Anabel
Anna Maguire has most recently co-starred 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 has earned Canadian Screen Awards (2021, 2022) 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-Filipina 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, the BFI London Film Festival and the British Independent Film Festival. She is an alumna of the Canadian Film Centre Director’s Lab, the Canadian Academy Director’s Program for Women, and Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) Story & Leadership, a recipient of the CBC Films WIDC Talent Development Award, and the WIDC Feature Film Award.
JULIA LEDERER | writer
Julia is an internationally acclaimed writer. As a playwright, her work has been produced across North America and recently in Paris. As a play, With Love and a Major Organ was nominated for “Best Production” by the LA Drama Critics Circle (2017), and on Theatre By Numbers “Top 5 plays in Chicago” (2016). Julia is an alumna of the Whistler Film Festival Screenwriters and Sundance Labs. Her films have screened at TIFF, Palm Springs, LA Comedy Shorts Festival, Cinequest Film Festival and Canadian Film Fest (award-winner).
MADELEINE DAVIS | producer
Madeleine is a Canadian producer whose recent narrative producing credits include the feature film With Love and a Major Organ (2023) and the short film Dhulpa (2022), which has recently screened at VIFF and Festival du Nouveau Cinema, where it won the Jury Prize. Past work has screened at SXSW, TIFF, and VIFF and been recognized by the Juno Awards, Vimeo Staff Picks, the Prism Prize, Director’s Library and the UKMVA Awards.
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 screenwriters and directors across Canada and internationally. Through WIDC, she has produced over 150 short films and is executive producer on twelve award-winning feature films including Never Steady, Never Still (2017); Red Snow (2019); Rustic Oracle (2019); Queen of the Morning Calm (2019); and Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor (2021).
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 330 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, MELS, 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.