“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 which 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. “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.” 

About Union
Union Editorial has offices located in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and London, where it maintains an alliance with Marshall Street Editors. The company also develops and produces original content through its Union Entertainment Group banner. Other Union companies include Hunter, which provides finishing services, vfx, graphics and mix for commercials, features and gaming. Union is presided over by Partner/Managing Director Michael Raimondi alongside Executive Producer Joe Ross in LA, Partner/Managing Director Caryn Maclean alongside Executive Producer Melissa Lubin in NY, Executive Producer Vicki Russell in Austin, and Logan Aries, Executive Producer of Hunter. The Union roster is comprised of Partner/Editors Jim Haygood, Einar Thorsteinsson, Jay Friedkin, Sloane Klevin, Marco Perez, Merritt Duff, Graham Turner, and Chris Huth, editors Daniel Luna, Laura Milstein, Jason Lucas, Karen Kourtessis, Kevin Ray, Nicholas Wayman-Harris, Rachael Waxler, Zach Kashkett, Andrea MacArthur, Amanda Perry, and Rick Lawley, as well as select projects with Teddy Gersten, Tim Thornton-Allan, Matt Chesse, John Mayes, Spencer Ferszt, Paul Plew and the Marshall Street roster.