Lions Gate Films has completed its deal to acquire all US and Canadian rights to Amores Perros, the critically lauded Mexican film directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Lions Gate Films International took the film on for foreign sales prior to Cannes where it screened in Critics Week, winning the Grand Prize and the Prix de la Jeunesse. Lions Gate bought the film off Mexico's Alta Vista Films.

The film screened this week at the Toronto International Film Festival and will appear at the New York Film Festival. Inarritu won the best director prize at the Edinburgh Film Festival last month.

Amores Perros, already the second biggest grossing Mexican film of all time in Mexico, stars Emilio Echevarria, Gael Garcia Bernal and Vanessa Bauche in a story of how three characters in a car accident rebuild their lives. Lions Gate plans to open it domestically in spring 2001.

It joins a bustling slate at the company run by Mark Urman and Tom Ortenberg which also includes Ken Loach's Bread And Roses, Jon Shear's Urbania, E Elias Merhige's Shadow Of The Vampire, Patrice Leconte's The Widow Of St Pierre and Laurence Fishburne's Once In The Life.