Scene Here | Local Films, festivals, and faces

Legacies of courage, song, and craft

Steve Ross speaks with Boston high school students in the documentary “Etched in Glass: The Legacy of Steve Ross.”
Steve Ross speaks with Boston high school students in the documentary “Etched in Glass: The Legacy of Steve Ross.”

If you missed its premiere at the Boston Jewish Film Festival, there’s another chance — make that two chances — to see the acclaimed documentary “Etched in Glass: The Legacy of Steve Ross.” The film screens Sunday at 4:30 p.m. on the Bristol campus of Roger Williams University as part of the Roving Eye Film Festival & Jewish Experience Series: “Arts and Culture: Shaping the Future, Reflecting the Past.” “Etched in Glass” won the Audience Choice award for best documentary at the 2017 Rhode Island International Film Festival in August.

Producer-writer-director Roger Lyons, a veteran New England television journalist who spent 17 years on the project, and co-producer Tony Bennis, who edited the film, will be on hand for a post-screening discussion moderated by George T. Marshall, RIIFF executive director. The event is free and open to the public.

“Etched in Glass: The Legacy of Steve Ross” is about Boston resident Steve Ross, born Szmulek Rosenthal in Poland, who was captured by the Nazis and endured five years in 10 concentration camps before he was liberated from Dachau. On that day, an Army lieutenant jumped down from his tank, hugged the emaciated Ross, shared some of his food with him, and gave him a handkerchief decorated as an American flag. Ross eventually settled in Boston, became a social worker, and for 40 years mentored troubled teens. He was also the driving force behind the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston. During all that time, Ross, who is now 91, searched for the soldier whose act of kindness changed the course of his life.


There will also be a BJFF encore screening on Nov. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Center for the Arts in Natick. Lyons and Bennis will be joined by Mike Ross, a former city councilor and Steve Ross’s son, who is prominently featured in the film, for a post-screening discussion.

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Sing out

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The newly restored, 50th anniversary re-release of one of the best concert documentaries of all time, Murray Lerner’s Oscar-nominated “Festival — Newport: 1963-1966” screens Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Regent Theatre in Arlington. Noah Lerner, Murray’s son and a writer and senior producer at HBO, will present the film, which features performances by music legends including Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash, the Staples Singers, Pete Seeger, Son House, and Peter, Paul and Mary.

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Setting sail

Legendary American sailor and Jamestown, R.I., native Mike Plant is the subject of director Thomas Simmons’s documentary “Coyote: The Mike Plant Story.” It follows Plant’s arrival in professional offshore sailing in the mid-1980s through his epic attempt to travel around the world alone on a sailboat. At the time, Plant was one of the few American sailors battling European dominance of the sport. The film screens Wednesday at 7 p.m. as part of the Camden International Film Festival’s Selects series at the Camden Opera House in Camden, Maine. Simmons will participate in a post-screening talk.

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Here’s looking at them

The 1942 Hollywood classic “Casablanca,” winner of three Oscars including best picture and rated the third greatest film of all time by the American Film Institute, celebrates it 75th year with a return to theaters Sunday and Wednesday as part of the TCM Big Screen Classics Series. Screenings are at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Fenway Stadium 13 in Boston and Assembly Row 12 in Somerville. Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz offers exclusive onscreen commentary before and after the film.

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Short stack

The 11th annual Short Short Story Film Festival, an international festival of independent films that tell a story in under six minutes, takes place Nov. 25 at AS220’s 95 Empire in downtown Providence. Films are split into two 90-minute programs of 17 films with a mix of live-action and animated films in each. The screenings start at 2 p.m. and run every two hours with the last screening at 8 p.m., followed by a reception at 9:30 p.m.

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Loren King can be reached at