‘A Beautiful Curse’ to have European premiere at Paris International Film Fest

A Beautiful Curse
(Olivia Vinall, Mark Strepan)

With its inclusion in the lineup of 2022’s Paris International Film Festival, A Beautiful Curse is coming to Europe.

Since its world premiere at California’s Cinequest 2021, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Genre Film, “A Beautiful Curse” has been invited to more than fifteen festivals across the US, garnering a slew of awards, including two top honors at the RiverRun International Film Festival: Best Editing, by Marco Perez of bicoastal Union, and Best Cinematography, by Philippe Kress.

A Beautiful Curse is the feature debut of Danish writer/director Martin Garde Abildgaard; it was produced by Rikke Katborg and Francois Chilot of Les Producers in association with Circus Alphaville, and Creative Alliance. Union’s Perez and Michael Raimondi serve as Executive Producers on the film.

This international team previously collaborated on Abildgaard’s award-winning short, Lovebirds

Filmed before the pandemic, yet oddly prescient, A Beautiful Curse tells the story of photographer Samuel, played by Mark Strepan, who sneaks onto an island that is under quarantine due to a mysterious phenomenon where all the inhabitants have fallen into a sleep from which they cannot wake.

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While there, he falls in love with the sleeping Stella, played by Olivia Vinall, as he tries to unravel the mystery of the deep sleep that has overtaken everyone. Abildgaard describes it as “a modern-day fairy tale…a tribute to life.”

In addition to the awards mentioned above, A Beautiful Curse has been honored with Best Sound Design (30th Woods Hole Film Festival 2021), Best Cinematography (Loudoun Arts Film Festival 2021 and Mystic Film Festival 2021), Best Production Design (Loudoun Arts Film Festival 2021), and Best Actor (Loudoun Arts Film Festival 2021).

A Beautiful Curse is the fruit of a meeting between a brilliant author and a very talented director and an inspired and determined producer,” observed Les Producers’ Chilot. “Our film has been entered into 17 festivals and has already won 8 awards. It is both Martin Garde Abildgaard and Rikke Katborg’s first feature, and the first feature film by Les Producers. I am extremely proud and happy to represent A Beautiful Curse, and am looking forward to its release in cinemas and on streaming platforms.”

“2021 has been an excellent year for A Beautiful Curse. In the US, the reaction to our movie from festival directors, program teams, audiences, and fellow filmmakers has been terrific,” said Perez. “I am proud of how strongly the film resonated with a diverse public, and am excited to see how European audiences will react to it.” He added that “A Beautiful Curse” reflects Union’s ever-expanding reach into the global film marketplace. “Seeking out unique stories told by award-winning filmmakers has proved a wonderful formula for Union’s entertainment division, and for me as an editor and partner in the company,” he said. 

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Perez recently cut Edge of the World, directed by Michael Haussman and starring John Rhys Myers. Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films in the US and Signature in the UK, that film ranked #1 among iTunes’ new releases on its debut weekend in the US, was among the 10 most-watched movies in the US in that frame, and has been nominated for Best American Feature Film at Amsterdam’s New Visions Film Festival. His recent spot credits include projects for Chevy, Samsung, North Face, and Cox Cable.  

A Beautiful Curse

Key Credits


  • In Association With Circus Alphaville & Creative Alliance
  • Written and Directed by: Martin Garde Abildgaard
  • Produced by: Rikke Katborg
  • Executive Producer: Francois Chilot
  • Executive Producers: Jonas Arnby, Christoffer Boe, Morten Hoffmann Larsen, Marco Perez, Michael Raimondi
  • Director of Photography: Philippe Kress 

EDIT: Union Editorial

  • Editor: Marco Perez
  • Post Producers: Gitte Wahl Folmann, Aksel Leth

COLOR AND FINISH: Kamerapost Cph

  • Colorist: Lasse Selvli
  • Composer: Dennis Lee


  • Mark Strepan
  • Olivia Vinall
  • Iben Hjejle
  • Ulrik Wivel
  • Henrik Priergaard