Alex Gibney Wim Wenders Timbuktu

Alex Gibney and Wim Wenders have partnered with director Michael Meredith for the documentary “Return to Timbuktu,” centered on Manny Ansar’s efforts to restore peace to Mali via music.

Gibney has come board as producer and Wenders as an exec producer. Meredith and Wenders have been following Festival au Desert organizer Ansar around the world as he campaigns for international awareness of the Malian crisis, encourages refugees to return to their homes and rallies musicians to use their voices to reunite a war torn country.

Mali was hit with a military coup in 2012, which turned Timbuktu into a violent war zone with militants imposing Sharia law and forcing more than a million Malians to flee. The French military reclaimed control of the city last year.

Ansar is working to restore Festival au Desert to Timbuktu next year. He initiated a procession of traveling musicians in January, culminating at the Festival sur le Niger on Feb. 5.

Gibney’s credits include “We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks” and “The Armstrong Lie.” Wenders directed “Pina” and “Buena Vista Social Club”; Meredith co-wrote Wenders’ 2004 drama “Land of Plenty” and wrote and directed “Three Days of Rain” and “The Open Road.”

The filmmakers have launched an Indiegogo campaign at http://igg.me/at/timbuktu to raise additional funds for production and build awareness around the subject of the film.

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