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LI filmmaker's latest work focuses on a Holocaust survivor 'unlike any you've ever seen'

Plainview native Jeff Lipsky has a tendency to make films about dysfunctional families facing a crisis - and "The Last" is no exception.

Claire (Rebecca Schull) and her great-grandson Josh (AJ

Claire (Rebecca Schull) and her great-grandson Josh (AJ Cedeño) observe Rosh Hashanah in Plainview Pictures'/Jeff Lipsky's ' movie "The Last."  Photo Credit: Plainview Pictures

Plainview native Jeff Lipsky has a tendency to make films about dysfunctional families facing a crisis — and his latest is no exception.

“It’s a contemporary story about a Jewish family in New York, and about a Holocaust survivor,” says Lipsky. "But a Holocaust survivor unlike any you’ve ever seen.”

Lipsky’s seventh film, “The Last,” stars Rebecca Schull (NBC’s “Wings”) as Claire, a Jewish woman who fled Nazi Germany near the end of World War II. Now 92, Claire joins her great-grandson (AJ Cedeno), her granddaughter (Julie Fain Lawrence) and their respective romantic partners on a trip to the beach. It’s there that Claire reveals a few shocking secrets.

“The challenging thing to audiences,” says Lipsky, “will be that she is not looking for sympathy or empathy. Or forgiveness.”

Lipsky is well-known in the film industry as a co-founder of October Films, the independent production and distribution company whose output during the 1990s included Mike Leigh’s “Secrets & Lies” and David Lynch’s “Lost Highway.” Though now a New York City resident, Lipsky shot his latest film at various Long Island locations, including Bethpage, Smithtown, Fort Salonga and Massapequa Park. “The Last” is currently playing at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, where Lipsky plans to speak at every show.

“I feel like the luckiest person in the world, frankly, to be able to fulfill a boyhood dream seven times over,” Lipsky says of his filmmaking career. “It's a rare privilege for anybody to make a feature film.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled actress Rebecca Schull's name.

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