B.C. director Kim Albright’s debut feature, WITH LOVE AND A MAJOR ORGAN, is causing ripples both locally and globally!

The film made its debut in the experimental Visions Program at SXSW last year, and continued captivating audiences at many film festivals including the Indy Film Festival, Bucheon Fantastic Film Festival (Asian Premiere), Fantasia Film Festival (Canadian Premiere), Whistler Film Festival, the Victoria Film Festival, and will be featured at the upcoming Vancouver International Film Festival beginning on April 12th.

Based on the stage play with the same name by Julia Lederer, the fantasy drama stars Anna Maguire (known for her roles in VIOLATION, THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT, and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN) as Anabel, a Virtual Insurance broker always following her heart in a society where individuality and emotions are fading. After facing emotional setbacks, she removes her heart and gives it to the unfeeling George played by Hamza Haq (known for his roles in TRANSPLANT, QUEEN OF MY DREAMS, and MY SALINGER YEAR). Life becomes easier for Anabel without her heart, but George, now feels everything, and decides to run off and embrace his new life and heart, as he had been living a sheltered life under his domineering mother. Anabel eventually realizes she must reclaim her heart if she wishes to survive.

WITH LOVE AND A MAJOR ORGAN has garnered numerous accolades, including Best Feature Film and Best Actor for Hamza Haq at the Reelworld Film Festival, Best B.C. Director for Kim Albright at the Whistler Film Festival, and Best Narrative Feature Film at the Santa Fe Film Festival.

We were honoured to have Kim Albright share insights into the production process with us:

(Director Kim Albright, Photo Credit: Robby Klein)

What was the biggest challenge you have faced in the production of With Love and a Major Organ?

The budget on this film was very small, especially for the ambition of the script. There were many characters, many locations and several set pieces that had very special details or required very particular lighting or cinematography. I know it was a challenge for many departments to make the most of their allocated budgets. Thankfully we had an incredibly motivated and resourcement team that managed to stretch their resources to the max! I’m super grateful for this.

Did you set goals for this project? What metrics will you use/ have you used to measure its success?
Before we started shooting, I really wanted to brush up on my skills in directing actors. I didn’t have many opportunities to use these directing muscles in the years leading up to shooting, Covid didn’t help much with this! And I know that every actor is different; they all have different ways of working and different needs from their directors. So I did my homework! I had lots of conversations with every actor, no matter what size role they had. We rehearsed and I incorporated a lot of improvisation into that, which I think everyone found super useful. We discussed some of the dialogue and re-worked some sections with the input they shared about their characters.

On set, I tried to be as present for the actors as I possibly could. It was very busy and our days were non-stop but I wanted to make sure they felt prepared, comfortable and supported as much as possible.


How would you describe your style as a director?
I’m definitely drawn to worlds that feel slightly off or bizarre in comparison to our own world. In all my shorts leading up to With Love, there’s always been an element of familiarity in the worlds yet with a fantastical twist. I really enjoy crafting these worlds – how they look and feel and how the people who inhabit these worlds behave. There’s scope to be playful and fun whilst also asking some thoughtful questions about the wider world.

I also love comedy and there are some super funny and strange characters in With Love and some wickedly funny dialogue (credit to screenwriter Julia Lederer!) I had a blast developing these characters with the actors and finding ways to let the comedy shine through their performance – be it physical or through the dialogue.


How has the B.C. landscape contributed to the film?
The film was shot in and around Vancouver! We shot over the month of February and embraced the grey and miserable weather that month had to offer. This was a conscious decision. The grey skies and gloomy weather served as the backdrop for the world of With Love where people are technology obsessed and emotionally vacant. Which is in perfect contrast to our main character, Anabel, whose emotions are all over the place and doesn’t shy away from suppressing them. Her world (her apartment, her fantasy sequences) is vibrant and full of colour and saturation.


We shot in some stunning locations on the North Shore too: a hiking trail in North Vancouver and at Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver. The North Shore is my stomping ground and these spots are incredibly special to me. The landscapes here in BC are so dramatic in real life – we tried to do them justice on screen too!

What is something people would be surprised to learn about With Love and a Major Organ?

I think there are two super interesting things about the film that not everyone knows about. The first is that the film is based on a play (same name, also written by Julia). The play only has 3 characters in it and is tonally quite different. So in development, we worked to expand the scope of the story and world. Another interesting thing about the film that most people seem surprised to discover is that the idea for our opening credit sequence came about after a test screening. During the screening, the audience struggled to understand that in the film, people’s hearts are objects (not fleshy beating organs like yours and mine!) So this is where the idea to showcase cast/crew heart objects alongside their names in the credits came from and I’m so thankful it did!


WITH LOVE AND A MAJOR ORGAN will be featured in cinemas across Canada beginning April 12th, in New York City beginning March 28th, and in Los Angeles on April 5th.

Tickets for these screenings can be purchased here. VIFF tickets can be purchased here.