Lions Gate FilmsInternational (LGFI) has closed a raft of sales on its Oscar nominated HotelRwanda, which makes itsinternational premiere in official selection at the 2005 Berlinale.

Tobis has picked up the Rwandan genocide drama forGermany, Metropolitan for France, Village Roadshow for Australia, and AscotElite for Switzerland.

Hotel Rwanda co-producer Mikado is set to release thepicture in Italy on Mar 11, while LGFI closed a UK deal with Entertainment lastweek. Entertainment will open the film in London's West End on February 25 followed by a nationwide release on March 4.

LGFI president Nicolas Meyer and co-president Sergei Yershov negotiatedall sales.

"Berlin isalways an ideal launching point for a European release of a film of thiscalibre and profile," Meyer said in a statement.

The companylaunched Monster's Ballat the festival's 2002 incarnation and this year Hotel Rwanda's two leads Don Cheadle and SophieOkonedo will be in attendance with director and co-writer Terry George and PaulRusesabagina, the real-life inspiration behind the story.

Hotel Rwanda tells of hotel manager Rusesabagina'sheroic efforts to save the lives of approximately 1,200 people during thegenocide in the mid-1990s.

Cheadle andOkonedo were nominated recently for best actor and supporting actress AcademyAwards, while George and Keir Pearson are in the running for best originalscreenplay.

Current internationaldistribution agreements on the film also include On Pictures for Spain, RCV forBenelux, Scanbox for Scandinavia, LNK for Portugal, Audio Visual for Greece,Shaw Renters for Singapore, Eagle Films for the Middle East, Box Office Entertainmentfor Thailand, New Films for Bulgaria/Romania, Blitz in Croatia/Slovenia, Vivafor the Philippines, and PT Amero Mita for Indonesia.