The Berlin-based international film production and finance company Instinctive Film - previously known as Invicta Entertainment - is boarding its first local German-language film, Frieder Wittich's coming-of-age student comedy 13 Semesters. The film begins shooting in Darmstadt next Monday (March 31).

Instinctive Film will co-produce the debut feature with Munich-based Claussen-Woebke+Putz Filmproduktion and broadcasters Hessischer Rundfunk and Arte with backing from Hessen Invest, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern and the German Federal Film Board (FFA).

Max Riemelt, Robert Gwisdek, and Alexander Fehling star in the story of two friends from an East German backwater coming to study Business Mathematics in Darmstadt and passing through the highs and lows of student life over the course of six-and-a-half years.

13 Semesters is the third film after Marco Kreuzpaintner's Krabat and Maggie Peren's Special Escort to come under the multi-picture distribution deal producer Claussen+Woebke-Putz Filmproduktion sealed with Twentieth Century Fox Germany in 2006.

In addition, Instinctive Film is in preproduction on writer-director Daniel Gillies' film The Disposables, starring the director, Rachel Leigh Cook and Seymour Cassel, which will start principal photography in Bogota and Los Angeles at the end of April, and is planning a June start for a psychological teenage angst thriller Piece By Piece, written by Adam Schaub and directed by Lee Donaldson, to be shot in and around Berlin and Potsdam.

The company is also set to be involved as a co-producer with Nehst Studios in a pilot film of an updated version of the 1960s The Saint TV series to be directed by Barry Levinson with James Purefoy to play the debonair international thief Simon Templar. The screenplay is being written by Jorge Zamacona and William J. Macdonald.

Roger Moore - who played the original Templar in the British series in the 1960s - and his son Geoffrey Moore are involved in the TV pilot which is being produced by Levinson and Tom Fontana.

Other projects in Instinctive Film's development slate include Bruce Beresford's period biopic Fever and the psychological drama Blanks.

Producer Darryn Welch's company was launched in Berlin at the beginning of this year to produce films in the $1m-$10m range for the international market.