Illinois Amish Politely Say "No"

Documentarian wants to find six teens for British TV series

By Peggy Cassidy
|  Thursday, Apr 9, 2009  |  Updated 6:42 AM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Illinois Amish Politely Say "No"

AFP/Getty Images

The Amish don't want their teen kids' wild experiences caught on film.

advertisement

Central Illinois' Amish community would rather a British filmmaker look elsewhere for subjects for a planned documentary TV series.

Toby Forrester-Paton, of Keo Films, is looking for Amish teens to be part of a series planned for a TV station in the United Kingdom contrasting Amish values with those of the outside world.  Specifically, he wants to talk with Amish teens going through Rumspringa (Pennsylvania Dutch for "running around").

In a 2002 documentary, director Lucy Walker took an up-close look at the rite of passage for many Amish teens.  In some sects teens are given a the opportunity to explore the customs of the outside "English" world (including alcohol, drugs and sex) before deciding whether to join the Amish church for life or leave the community.

The Arcola, Ill., Amish want nothing to do with Forrester-Paton's film project, but the British filmmaker says -- despite the objections -- he's committed to producing the TV series.

Amber Kauffman, of the Illinois Amish Interpretive Center in Arcola, says she's been called by a number of Amish people who would rather Forrester-Paton find his teens somewhere else. They suggest looking to larger Amish communities, such as those in Pennsylvania.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our Weather App
Stay ahead of the storm with the NBC... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out