Having started the film program at Wesleyan in the 1960s, Jeanine Basinger will still be part of the faculty at the university to see the grand opening of The Basinger Center for Film Studies. The newly renovated facility named after the scholar will provide more space for studies and includes a new soundstage and cinema. Basinger has been described as “one of the most important film scholars alive today,” and her imprint on the film program over the last decades has influenced many graduates who are now working in Hollywood.
The film studies program is consistently ranked in the top 10 among the best programs in the world and although Wesleyan University much smaller than other institutions, there has been a disproportionate number of graduates that have gone on to achieve great success in the film industry. Wesleyan alumni include Michael Bay, Joss Whedon, and Akiva Goldsman to name just a few. The Wesleyan Cinema Archives also boasts a large collection of personal materials from important film industry figures of the 20th century including Ingrid Bergman, Federico Fellini, Frank Capra, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and John Waters.