London-based Vertigo Films and The National Film and Television School have named the three winning filmmakers for their Vertigo School Project (VSP). 

The filmmakers and their films are:

  • Lustre written by Mahalia Rimmer, tells the story of two teenage girls who play a game of dares that soon spirals out of control.
  • Guinea Pigs written and directed by Ian Clark and produced by Megan Stuart Wallace. It tracks eight volunteers who find themselves fighting for their lives when a drug trial goes horribly wrong.
  • The State co-written and directed by Masood Khan and Shakil Mohammed is a tense thriller set in a dystopian future where the West has lost the war on terror.

The three were chosen by producers Allan Niblo and Rupert Preston from Vertigo and NFTS director Nik Powell, from 50 entries. The projects will be produced by Vertigo as part of the $166,000 (£100,000) micro budget VSP. 

The programme, which was open to students graduating in 2009 and NFTS alumni from 2005-2008, was the brainchild of Powell, and aims to showcase the best new talent coming out of the School.

Vertigo’s Niblo said: “This is a unique and exciting opportunity to launch the careers of graduate filmmakers in a way that Vertigo has done with similar low budget films such as London to Brighton or In Search of a Midnight Kiss.”

Powell 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 films will be produced by Vertigo this summer and will be distributed by the company in the UK and Ireland next year.