According to Deadline, IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson is teaming up with filmmaker Sacha Gervasi ("Anvil: The Story Of Anvil!" ) to co-write a narrative screenplay about the legendary concert Dickinson played with his solo band during the wartime siege in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Dickinson and his band came to Sarajevo with the help of UN troops in 1994 and held a concert at the Bosnian Cultural Centre. At the time, the city was cut off from the world, its citizens brutally terrorized by shooting, bombing and starvation with electricity and water supply being nothing short of a luxury. Bruce and his then-solo band drove through the frontlines and ultimately played a show for the people trapped in the city. What this gig meant to the people and how it changed Bruce and his band is told in the 2016 documentary "Scream For Me Sarajevo".
Featuring footage from the historic gig, the film also meets those that made it to the show and made the show happen; determined to keep living their lives despite the atrocities going on around them. Interviews with the band, crew and security bring home the reality of the situation that was not only dangerous, it was barbaric.
Dickinson said: "The few incredible days I spent in Sarajevo with my solo band pre-Christmas in 1994 were some of the most intense of my life. Crafting a story to bring the emotions, madness, tragedy and triumph to the screen is no easy task. My own journey was as a long-haired heavy metal singer driving through firefights into a city that had been under siege longer than Stalingrad. Mine was not, of course, the only journey taken on that day, and afterwards, at home in London, I left behind in Sarajevo travelling companions on the road of life. This movie is actually dedicated to their story, not mine."
Gervasi commented: "I first met Bruce Dickinson as a 15-year-old MAIDEN fan in London in 1982. Now, nearly 40 years later, to be co-writing this extraordinarily intense and personal story with Bruce himself is a genuine and unexpected honor. The real story of the kids and local musicians who attended that show is as poignant as it is inspiring. Many of them didn’t make it. As Bruce has already said, we hope this film will be a tribute to them."
A clip of Dickinson and Gervasi discussing the project on Alex Ferrari's podcast "Next Level Soul", which will air on Saturday, can be found on Deadline.
Two years ago, Bruce was declared an honorary citizen in Sarajevo. Dickinson accepted the award in person, saying that it was great that his visit 25 years earlier "still means this much to people to give me this symbolic award."
"While this is a great honor, I think that this award belongs equally to the people of Sarajevo who are still here," he said.
"Scream For Me Sarajevo" was released in 2018 on DVD, Blu-ray and digital via Eagle Vision. In addition, the music from the film was issued on CD/double LP via BMG.
Regarding the now-cult concert, Dickinson wrote in his autobiography "What Does This Button Do?": "We weren't protected, there was no plan and the bullets were real, but fuck it, we went anyway. The gig was immense, intense and probably the biggest show in the world at that moment for the audience and for us. That the world didn't really know didn't matter. It changed the way I viewed life, death and other human beings."