Lynbrook native Deirdre O’Connor will release her independent film, “One Moment,” at the Long Island International Film Expo on Aug. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Bellmore Movies.
The film was written, produced and directed by O’Connor and is about what she calls “the sandwich generation,” which comprises middle-aged adults who are “sandwiched” in between parenting their children and taking care of their aging parents, while also balancing their own jobs and day-to-day demands. O’Connor said she wants to bring attention to the joy that can be found amid this chaotic and confusing time.
Originally from Lynbrook and a professor at Nassau Community College, O’Connor filmed many of the scenes at locations around Long Island. Additionally, over 150 of the cast members are local residents.
“I feel like it is really a Long Island film,” O’Connor said. “I want to focus on the moments you have left where there is joy to be found. It’s not easy, but I think that if you stop and appreciate what you do have, there is cause for celebration.”
O’Connor said she believes that people can get stuck on the changing dynamic that comes with this stage of life, but urges people to find happiness in the present moment. “Even though our aging parents and grandparents might not be the same people that we knew when they were in their heyday,” she said, “there is still so much joy to be had.”
O’Connor began writing the film a few years ago, shortly after her mother died, and said she feels even more of a personal connection to it after her father died in early July. “You think you’ll have forever and you don’t,” she said. “Stop now and appreciate who everybody is.”
Fortunately, O’Connor was able to finish filming right before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, all the editing had to be done online, and she said she just met its editor in person a month ago.
“One Moment,” O’Connor’s first feature film, has been shown in many other film festivals. However, they have all been virtual due to pandemic-related safety precautions. The Long Island International Film Expo will be the first time her film is viewed by an audience in person.
“That’s what makes the Long Island Film Expo so exciting,” O’Connor said. “It’s not only a home audience, but it’s in person.”
O’Connor said she is looking forward to watching the film with friends, family, and those involved in its creation. The only essential person missing will be the star of the show, the late Danny Aiello. The esteemed actor died on Dec. 12, 2019, shortly after filming for “One Moment” was finished. O’Connor said she feels honored that the last film in which Aiello appeared is hers.
O’Connor added that she hopes that viewers will leave with a reminder to forget about the past and focus on who the ones they love are in the present moment. “If you get stuck on how good it was,” said Aiello in the film, “you’ll miss out on how good it is.”
Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with O’Connor and several cast members. Tickets can be purchased at the box office.