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    A heavy metal mission of mercy

    Still images from “Scream for Me Sarajevo”: the 1994 concert (left) and heavy metal rocker Bruce Dickinson’s return (right) 20 years later.
    Still images from “Scream for Me Sarajevo”: the 1994 concert (left) and heavy metal rocker Bruce Dickinson’s return (right) 20 years later.

    Whether or not you care for the music of Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, after watching Tarik Hodzic’s documentary “Scream for Me Sarajevo” he might become your favorite rock star.

    In 1994, Sarajevo had already been under siege by the Bosnian Serb army for two years (it would end in 1996, making it the longest siege in modern history). The continuous artillery bombardments and sniper fire killed thousands, yet the civilian population defied their attackers by trying to live their lives as normally as possible.

    That’s when an officer working for the United Nations peacekeeping force got an idea. Why not bring in a big-name rocker to play a concert and allow people to forget about the war for at least one night? Though not yet cognizant of the risks and the nightmare landscape he would enter, Dickinson took on the gig. Despite some harrowing moments, the concert proved a triumphant success.


    Hodzic intercuts images from Sarajevo during the siege — a montage of burning skyscrapers and bloody bodies — with scenes from Davidson and the other musicians’ emotional return to the city 20 years later. The event changed their lives and inspired those who heard them to persevere.

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    “Scream for Me Sarajevo” screens on May 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Regent Theatre in Arlington.

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    Funds for filmmakers

    Ask any documentary filmmaker and they’ll tell you that the hardest part of any project is raising money. Luckily for local artists, the LEF Foundation’s Moving Image Fund has, since 2002, been offering grants to assist them. They recently announced this year’s winners.

    Receiving $15,000 in production grants:


    Abigail Child’s The Android Project,” an experimental documentary investigating current android development and its implications for the future.

    Diane Hendrix’s “Mi Casita,” a documentary on how a 24-year-old Dominican-American is dealing with problems of housing and unemployment in Lawrence. 

    Steve Liss’s Recovery High,” a film about treatment for addiction and mental health disorders at Northshore Recovery High School in Beverly. 

    Kathryn Rameys “El Signo Vacío(“The Empty Sign”), a cinematic essay about the 120-year US occupation of Puerto Rico. 

    Frederick Wiseman’s “Monrovia, Indiana,” in which the great documentarian explores life in a small rural town. 


    Garrett Zevgetis’s Disturbing Schools,” about how a viral video of police violence inspires an activist. 

    Receiving $25,000 in post-production grants:

    Jane Gillooly’s Where the Pavement Ends,” which compares a 1968 dispute over a road blockade in Ferguson, Mo., with the road where Michael Brown lay dead 46 years later. 

    Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip’s “Dawnland,” which investigates the plight of stolen children and cultural survival as seen in the first truth and reconciliation commission for Native Americans.

    Jenifer McShane’s Ernie & Joe,” about two officers in the San Antonio Police Department who help mentally ill people get off the streets and into treatment facilities. 

    Kavita Pillay’s Stalin, Lenin, and Other Tales from South India,” which visits the communist stronghold of Kerala, India, to meet people named after the Soviet dictators of the title.

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    Peter Keough can be reached at