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Documentary About 'Merchant of Death' Bout to Premiere at Sundance

A film documenting the rise and fall of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout is to compete in the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance Institute announced.

"The Notorious Mr. Bout" has been nominated in the World Cinema Documentary Competition along with 12 other contestants hailing from Syria, Israel, Canada and several countries in Western Europe,.

The film's director, Maxim Pozdorovkin, returns to Sundance after this year's successful showing of "Pussy Riot : A Punk Prayer," which he directed and produced with Mike Lerner. The film won a Special Jury Award at the festival and has been placed on the long list of films nominated for the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary.

Bout's life has already served as the subject of the 2008 book "Merchant of Death," an exposé on the international arms trade, and as inspiration for the main character in 2005's "Lord of War."

Arrested in Thailand in 2008 and extradited to the United States, Bout was convicted in 2012 of conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers and civilians by agreeing to sell weapons to undercover agents posing as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, considered a terrorist organization by the U.S.

Now serving a 25-year prison sentence at the Marion Penitentiary in Illinois, Bout is appealing his case to the U.S. Supreme Court after an appellate court rejected the notion that he was entrapped by the sting operation and faced a "vindictive" prosecution.

Russia has fought the extradition and trial, which officials described as politically motivated, and have sworn to have Bout returned to his homeland.

Earlier this year, officials who participated in Bout's prosecution were added to the Dima Yakovlev blacklist of U.S. officials prohibited from entering Russia or owning assets in the country.

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