German actor Daniel Brühl is launching a production company with Berlin-based Film1. Fouronfilm will concentrate on international co-productions.

The company is seeking director-led projects and will begin with Andreas Kleinert’s adaptation of the Dutch author Arnon Grünberg’s short novel, Monkey Grabbing Holding Of Happiness. The project, which will begin principal photography in South America, tells the story of a Dutch diplomat whose love for a Peruvian woman leads him to get involved with the occupation of the Japanese embassy in 1997.

Brühl, who stars alongside Brad Pitt, Til Schweiger and Christoph Waltz in Quentin Tarantino’s Cannes competition film Inglourious Basterds, has previously starred in two of Film1’s productions, Sebastian Schipper’s 2006 film A Friend Of Mine (Ein Freund Von Mir) and Alain Gsponer’s adaptation of the Martin Suter novel Lila, Lila. He came to international attention in Wolfgang Becker’s comedy Good Bye, Lenin!.

Film1 was founded in 2003 by the producers Sebastian Zühr, Henning Ferber, and Marcus Welke and currently has Matthias Emcke’s Phantom Pain (Phantomschmerz) on general release in German cinemas. The company is now seeking to develop internationally.

Zühr said: “The German market has become more attractive for international productions with the introduction of the DFFF [German Federal Film Fund]. But we don’t want to just have the role of a German partner who is coming in to close the financing. We want to be more creative in the way we develop partnerships with international producers because we have great acting talent here that we can offer and there are financing tools one can access for co-productions.”