Beautiful Curse: Wins Best Editing at RiverRun Fest

A Beautiful Curse
(Olivia Vinall, Mark Strepan)

A Beautiful Curse, the feature debut of Danish writer/director Martin Garde Abildgaard, won two top awards at this year’s RiverRun International Film Festival: Best Editing, by Marco Perez of bicoastal Union, and Best Cinematography, by Philippe Kress.

Last month, the film won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Genre Film at Cinequest 2021, where it had its World Premiere. 

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. 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.”

“One of the challenges that really excited me about the project was the blending of fantasy and reality,” said Perez, who also served as an Executive Producer of the film, alongside Union President/Managing Partner Michael Raimondi.

RELATED: A Beautiful Curse is not a pandemic story, but a love story

“Despite the remote post-process, Martin trusted me to explore this freely and fully, which bolstered my confidence,” Perez 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 Entertainment Group, and for me as an editor and partner in Union,” he said.

“I have worked with many different editors, all over the world, but only a few are as sharp as Marco,” said Abildgaard. “He is a very strong storyteller and has made this poetic story come through in a very emotional and almost fragile way.”

Perez began his career in his native Rome and has since edited commercials, documentaries, shorts, and feature films all over the world, building a fanbase of filmmakers in the US, London, and across Europe. His recent spot credits include projects for Chevy, Samsung, North Face, and Cox Cable. On the film front, Perez recently cut The Edge of the World, directed by Michael Haussman and starring John Rhys Myers; it will be distributed in the U.S. by Samuel Goldwyn Films.

A Beautiful Curse was produced by Rikke Katborg and Francois Chilot of Les Producers in association with Circus Alphaville, Creative Alliance, Perez, Raimondi, and Union Editorial, all of whom previously collaborated on Abildgaard’s award-winning short, Lovebirds


PRODUCTION COMPANY: Les Producers, 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 
  • Editorial Company: Union Editorial
  • Editor: Marco Perez
  • Post Producers:
  • Gitte Wahl Folmann
  • Aksel Leth

COLOR: Kamerapost Cph

  • Colorist: Lasse Selvli

Composer: Dennis Lee


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