Sellus (Bessinger) Wilder
- Class of 2003
Sellus (Bessinger) Wilder ’03 has sustained a career in film and video production. His first feature film (The Dangers of Dreaming) included Beloiters Andy Cameron ’05 and Ollie Collins ’04 won a ‘Director’s Choice’ and two ‘Best of Fest’ awards at various festivals, in addition to being nominated for best drama, cast, and use of music. His second film (The End Of The Line, a documentary that follows the grassroots defeat of a fracking pipeline through Kentucky) has been credited with helping other communities across the country overcome their own pipeline struggles. Wilder was also elected to the Frankfort City Commission at age 27, served two terms (including one term as Mayor Pro Tem of Kentucky’s state capital), and ran for United States Senate in 2016.
Wilder argues, “My theatre training at Beloit taught me how to communicate clearly and effectively to large audiences (both conceptually and figuratively.). I learned how to orchestrate a team of folks to execute a shared vision, and how to recognize and account for the relationships between different actors on the stage. I learned more about myself and other people, accessing deeper levels of empathy. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that I can’t imagine doing the work that I’ve done without that training. I’m grateful for the many Beloiters that are still in my life, and am overwhelmingly proud of the awesome things that many of my classmates are doing.”