Google Inc. co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are making their first foray into the movie business, helping to finance a friend's independent film.

The Internet moguls are the executive producers of "Broken Arrows," the story of a man who loses his pregnant wife in a terrorist attack and then takes a job as a hit man.

A spokeswoman for Mountain View-based Google confirmed Brin and Page's role in the film, but declined to discuss details.

The film is written and directed by Reid Gershbein, a computer graphics designer at DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., who became friends with the Google founders in the late 1990s when they were doctoral students in computer science at Stanford University.

"I can't say how lucky I am," Gershbein told the San Francisco Chronicle for a story Thursday. "They were extremely generous."

Production costs are just under $1 million, Gershbein said. Brin and Page funded about half the film, barely a dent in their personal fortunes, which are estimated at $16 billion each.

Gershbein said he plans to screen the film at festivals next fall.

Page and Brin are the latest Internet entrepreneurs to get involved in the film business. Former eBay Inc. President Jeffrey Skoll was executive producer of recent films such as "Syriana" and "Good Night, and Good Luck," both starring George Clooney, as well as "North Country" with Charlize Theron.

Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner, who formed Broadcast.com in 1995 and then sold it to Yahoo! in 1999, are partners in 2929 Entertainment, which has movie production and distribution companies and a chain of movie theaters among its holdings.