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Australia, 1996 (MIFF 1996, Australian Panorama)

Director: Emma-Kate Croghan

Made on a wing, a prayer and a ton of energy. Love and Other Catastrophes marks the filmic debut of a fresh and exciting new team. A hip original comedy set firmly within 90s Melbourne, a radical departure from the visual Australian feature film in both form and content, inspired by the spirit and production histories of such US indie films as Clerks and El Mariachi.

The film is a collaborative effort from the core group of five ("The Screwball Five" of Bergman. Bandis, Brickie, Croghan and Efthymiou). It was made on a tiny initial budget, thanks to the invaluable support of friends, family and the entire crew who worked on deferred fees as an expression of their faith in the project. None of which would matter a bean if the film didn't fire instead it virtually explodes with a winning vitality and wit.

Essentially it's a romantic comedy revolving around a day in the life of five uni students in their early twenties. And a hell of a day it is, that takes them across town and across campus, in and out of relationships. The filmmakers have come up with a cast of attractive new faces who put in uniformly excellent performances and it's their verve that gives the film its tremendous spirit.

Love and Other Catastrophes succeeds because it captures the spontaneity of its production process Unlike most other films that can only approximate the 'youth experience'. Love, rings true and loud (TB)

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