DANSVILLE — A documentary featuring the history and growth of Finger Lakes wineries will be featured at the Star Theater.


The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium has ventured into movie-making and will present the first public showing of its initial production on Sept. 2 at 11 a.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 14 and under. All children must be accompanied by an adult.


“Dreams Into Nectar: New York’s Finger Lakes Wine Story” is a two-part miniseries that chronicles the history of grape-growing and winemaking in the Finger Lakes Region. It is the first documentary film ever produced on the subject.


The first part is entitled “Collision Course: Wine and Temperance in New York’s Finger Lakes”, and it explores the hardships that early colonists and pioneer grape growers confronted in their unsuccessful efforts to establish the nation’s first vineyards—and then how a social movement later devastated that industry once it finally became established.


“Collision Course” is a 45-minute film that begins with New World colonization and ends at Prohibition.


Part one was written and directed by winemaker and wine historian, Dr. Gary Cox, and includes interviews with notable wine experts, Thomas Pellechia and John Brahm with historical content provided by author Richard Figiel.


Executive Producer John Adamski told Genesee Country Express the museum has been working on this documentary for a couple of years now.


“This is meant to educate the public on the different fascists of the Finger Lakes history,” he said. “These documentaries talk about the different phases of wine making. It takes us back to the colonial days when they first brought the vines.”


Star Theater Owner Edgar Schmidt has graciously donated the theater to the museum for the viewing, and will do so again once part two is finished. The museum has a Blu Ray that will be put into the digital equipment and projected on the big screen.


The second part entitled “Regional Resurrection: A Return to Prosperity”, was also written and directed by Cox and is currently in production. This part of the series begins at the Repeal of Prohibition and proceeds into today’s modern and mechanized vineyard and winery operations and includes interviews with former New York Lt. Gov. Mary Anne Krupsak and national wine industry expert Jim Trezise.


Finger Lakes Community College professor emeritus of American History and Anthropology, Henry Maus, portrays Charles Fournier in a Part two segment describing the winemaker’s collaboration with Dr. Konstantin Frank to perfect the grafting of European grapevines onto American rootstocks, which resulted in so many of today’s award-winning Finger Lakes wines.


Both parts of the miniseries were filmed and edited by David Cox of Eyeline Media in Lockport. Narration was provided by retired WDNY radio newsman Terry Van and the musical soundtracks were written and performed by SUNY Geneseo composer Glenn McClure.

Adamski said that once these are finished PBS will take it nationwide, and are interested in future documentaries as well.


“The biggest hurdle is raising enough money to finish the film, and the money we make for part one will go into finishing part two,” he said. “It is all done expect the music score. We need to finish that, and we can show that one as well.”


Cox said, “Collision Courseis the story of how explorers and Early Americans, who dreamed of creating fine table wine in Eastern American, especially here in New York’s Finger Lakes region, struggled against both unknown natural enemies and the Drys. The sequel, Regional Resurrection, will present thestory of the astonishing, on-going fulfillment of those dreams in the years since the Repeal of National Prohibition.”


Adamski said that the museum is actively soliciting funds through tax-deductible contributions and program sponsorships in order to complete the production of Part two. He said, “We’re in talks with PBS Television for national broadcast of both parts back-to-back as soon as Part two can be finished.”


Anyone wishing to contribute or become a sponsor should contact him through the museum’s website.


Adamski added, “I want to salute Edgar Schmidt, co-owner of the Dansville Star Theatre, for his generosity in donating his venue for our use. All ticket sales will benefit the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium—and popcorn and refreshments will be available to help the theatre cover its operational costs, so bring an appetite.”

Adamski said that the museum is also working on a Bald Eagle documentary that will show at Star Theater when it is done. There is a long list of films they plan to make in the future; such as Native Americans occupy the region, story of white tail deers and black bears.

“I feel great about this, because we put a lot of effort and research into it,” he said. “This is a high quality documentary with antique photos we found of the old days of wine making. We made it very authentic. Finger Lakes wine is used all over the world, and has won many gold medals.”


Pay with a credit card online at www.FingerLakesMuseum.org Programs and Events Page or pay with cash at the door.