Sundance 2014: The making of ‘The Notorious Mr. Bout’ [Video]

Filmmakers Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin discuss their Sundance entry, “The Notorious Mr. Bout.”

PARK CITY, Utah -- Was Viktor Bout an international arms smuggler?

How do you make a movie out of home videos recorded by a man convicted of conspiracy to kill Americans?

What’s it like visiting an alleged “merchant of death” in federal prison?


Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin, the directors of the Sundance Film Festival documentary “The Notorious Mr. Bout,” dropped by the Los Angeles Times Studio in Park City to discuss how these issues are explored in their movie, which premiered at the festival Friday night.

MORE: Complete list of Sundance film festival selections

“The Notorious Mr. Bout” offers an inside look at the titular Russian businessman, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence stemming from convictions for criminal intent to traffic arms and for conspiracy to kill.

The former Soviet Union military officer was found guilty on those counts in November 2011 after a trial held in federal court in New York.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Bout operated a fleet of cargo airplanes that delivered goods across Africa, the Middle East and beyond.

Bout, who was extradited from Thailand in 2010, has routinely professed his innocence, saying that he functioned as a logistics provider, and was not an arms smuggler.

FULL COVERAGE: Sundance 2014

He was apprehended in Bangkok in a 2008 sting arranged by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The filmmakers received a trove of home videos from Bout’s wife, Alla Bout, and that footage serves as the basis of the film.

Pozdorovkin returns to Sundance after debuting his “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” at last year’s festival.

Watch the video of our conversation with him and Gerber above.


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