Ian Clark writes and directs, with Megan Stuart and Mat Wakeham producing. The trio are all NFTS alumni.

Vertigo Films and the National Film and Television School (NFTS) have started principal photography on Guinea Pigs.

The project, which started shooting today, is the first film from Vertigo and NFTS’ Schools Project slate. Protagonist Pictures will handle international sales and Vertigo will release in the UK in 2011.

Ian Clark writes and directs. Megan Stuart and Mat Wakeham are producing. The trio are all NFTS alumni.

The micro-budget film is an atmospheric horror about volunteers fighting for their lives after a drug trial goes wrong.

The cast features Aneurin Barnard, Alex Reid, Amit Shah and Steve Evets.

Allan Niblo of Vertigo said: “This is a unique and thrilling opportunity to launch the careers of graduate filmmakers in a way that Vertigo have done with similar low budget films such as London to Brighton and In Search of a Midnight Kiss. We are thriller to be working with such as talented team both in front of and behind the scenes.”

Nik Powell, head of the NFTS, added: “True talent is not stifled by lack of resources – the budget might be micro but great storytelling together with outstanding talent can achieve big things!”

The Vertigo Schools Project gives three teams of students/graduates the opportunity to make micro-budget features with a budget of £100,000.