The Hartford Courant’s Susan Dunne reports on Wesleyan’s film mafia at this years Tribeca Film Festival in New York:
“Judging from the lineup at the Tribeca Film Festival this year, it seems there might be one foolproof method not only to get a foot in the door in Hollywood, but also to become well-established, steadily working and well-respected:
Get a degree from Wesleyan University.
This year, seven Wesleyan graduates have films at the festival, which finishes up today in lower Manhattan.
Jeanine Basinger, head of the film studies department at the Middletown campus, says it isn’t just the quality of the film school, but Wesleyan’s emphasis on well-rounded liberal arts education that makes its graduates sought out in Hollywood. She also credits a time-tested network of graduates all ready to help each other.
In a business where “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know” is a rule, this is invaluable.
“We are one of the only schools I know of that gives exit interviews with job references,” Basinger says. “When they go out there, they have people to call, and I have never known any of our graduates to refuse to help a fellow Wesleyan graduate.
“We have about 400 people now working out there,” Basinger says. “They call them the `Wesleyan mafia.’ And I’m the godmother.”
Read more about our alums Dan Edelman ’78, Paul Schiff ’81, Jieho Lee ’95, Zak Penn ’90, Andrew Berends ’94, Jim Cohen ’84, and Jessica Sanders ’99.