Finger Lakes Museum’s First Movie Production

Star Theatre in Dansville to screen documentary September 2

The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium has ventured into movie-making and will present the first public showing of its initial production at a movie theatre in Dansville in early September.

“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.

Part 1, which is named “Collision Course: Wine and Temperance in New York’s Finger Lakes”, 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.

This part of the 45-minute film begins with New World colonization and ends at Prohibition. It will be shown at the Star Theatre in Dansville at 11:00am on Saturday, September 2, during the New York Festival of Balloons Labor Day weekend.

Part 1 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 Gary Cox, and includes interviews with notable wine experts, Thomas Pellechia and John Brahm with historical content provided by author Richard Figiel.

Part 2, entitled “Regional Resurrection: A Return to Prosperity”, was also written and directed by Dr. 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 2 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.

Director Cox said, “Collision Course is 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 the story of the astonishing, on-going fulfillment of those dreams in the years since the Repeal of National Prohibition.”

John Adamski, the film’s executive producer, said that the museum is actively soliciting funds through tax-deductible contributions and program sponsorships in order to complete the production of Part 2. He said, “We’re in talks with PBS Television for national broadcast of both parts back-to-back as soon as Part 2 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.”

An adult ticket price will be $10. The ticket price for children under 14 will be $5 and all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Pay with credit card online. Pay with cash at the door.

The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization and is chartered by the New York State Education Department. See for more information or to contribute.

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