It is the stuff of which lore is built; the dream of every film student who ever uttered the words "action" and "cut". While she was on the dole, Emma-Kate Croghan made her debut feature "Love and Other Catastrophes" in her native Australia for $37,000--produced by her boyfriend Stavros Andonis Efthymiou--only to have it become the darling of the 1996 Cannes Film Festival and make her one of the world's rising young filmmakers. Filmed when she was 23, "Love", which Croghan also co-wrote, is in the style of the screwball comedies of the 1930s, recounting the semi-autobiographical tale of two female filmmaking students living in a warehouse apartment as they look for a third roommate during a hectic day. While it was a low-budget production, the film was completed with $400,000 from the Australian Film Commission and Fox Searchlight paid $800,000 for the distribution rights a week before the Cannes Film Festival debut, rolling it out in US theaters in 1997.
Croghan had previously made two short films while a student at Victoria College of the Arts in Melbourne: "Sexy Girls, Sexy Appliances" and "Desire". Additionally, the novice filmmaker co-directed the documentary short, "Come As You Are", with Brad McGann. Given a theatrical release in 1996, "Come As You Are" is a stylized look at three people: a drag queen, a gay urban cowboy and a sexual outlaw. Croghan returned to features with the likable if lightweight romantic comedy "Strange Planet" (1999), which followed the various couplings of six principal characters over the course of one year.