Hell and Mr. Fudge By inSpire with Pat Arrabito

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We recently conducted an exclusive interview with Pat Arrabito, Director of LLT Productions, about their latest production "Hell and Mr. Fudge," that is winning awards and turning heads. This full feature film will be an asset to local churches once it is released. --Editor

Editor - Pat, your production team recently produced a movie about the nature of God titled, "Hell and Mr. Fudge." As soon as I saw the video trailer I was hooked. I wanted to see it. What an intriguing title. Tell us about yourself, the movie, and what inspired you to tackle this subject.

Arrabito - I came to the production world when my husband, James Arrabito, while in the middle of the “Sabbath Project” research, lost his life (along with our two eldest sons) in a plane crash. By the grace of God and teamwork with Jeff Wood and Jim Wood, the “Seventh Day” series was accomplished. We continued working together, moving on to the subject of the state of the dead after the “Seventh Day” series (now available in 13 languages) was finished.

Editor - You have been through some tragic losses, but have used these as a springboard to ministry. I have seen the "Seventh Day" series and it is very well done. But your new movie is quite different because it is a feature length drama that tells a story rather than documenting historical events. What’s behind the story?

Arrabito - The film is based on the true story of Edward Fudge, a young Bible-belt preacher, who in the 70’s was hired by a former Seventh-day Adventist scholar to research the biblical teaching on hell and the eventual fate of the lost.

The movie traces the progress of Fudge's work, interweaving elements of his early life and career as a controversial preacher and writer in a conservative evangelical denomination.

Ostracized by influential leaders of his church, Fudge immerses himself in his research. He eventually finds personal peace and professional vindication when he overcomes his own prejudices and rejects the traditional view of hell.

Fudge's book, The Fire that Consumes, has become a standard reference on the topic of hell.

Editor - What made you want to do a film on hell and death?

Arrabito - Our goal is to make the character of God shine, but confusion over death has caused huge misunderstandings about what He is like. How could a God who calls Himself “love,” keep the lost alive in a fiery place of conscious torment for the eons of eternity? It’s a logical question, and it’s caused many people to abandon God as a cruel tyrant. Others are left to the mercy of lying spirits parading as dead loved ones.

Editor - How did you tackle the topic?

Arrabito - We started with the idea of a documentary, and filmed interviews scholars in the UK, Australia and here in the US. These projects, by the way, are funded by donations in answer to prayer. Well, our funding for the documentary fell through and we put it on the shelf for awhile. A year or more went by when a phone call brought us back to it. The caller let me know that we’d make a big mistake in putting that project aside. He asked if there was anything he could do to convince us to get back to it. “We’ve never stopped praying that God would provide the means,” I told him. Three weeks later a letter arrived with a half million dollars toward the project. That was marching orders!

“Hell and Mr. Fudge” is the result. Here’s how it happened: As we looked at the subject again, we kept going back to the idea of a story. Everyone loves a good story! We thought it might have broader initial appeal than a documentary, which we could do later as a companion piece. By this time Edward Fudge had become dear to us – we loved him and we loved his story. And his journey contained all the critical points we wanted to communicate.

Editor - Who plays in the film?

Arrabito - "Hell and Mr. Fudge" features MacKenzie Astin as Edwards and Keri Lynn Pratt as his wife, Sara Faye. Other key roles are portrayed by Eileen Davidson, John Wesley Shipp, and Wes Robertson.

The movie was filmed on location in Athens, Alabama, where most of the story took place. Produced and directed by Jeff Wood, "Hell and Mr. Fudge" took the platinum award for its category at the Houston International Film Festival in April. It is LLT Productions first feature-length dramatic movie.

Editor - When will it be released, and where will people be able to see it?



Hell and Mr. Fudge Trailer from Jim Wood on Vimeo.

Arrabito - The release date to the public was November 15, 2013. For more details, or to place your order click here.

Folks can also conect with us on Facebook page and our website.

Editor - Thank you for producing this valuable film. We look forward to being able to view it in the future. Please keep us posted.

Notification Prompt: If you’d like to be notified when “Hell and Mr. Fudge” is screened in your area, or becomes available on DVD, you may send your email address to llt@fcs.net.

This interview was conducted by Rich DuBose, Director of Pacific Union Conference Church Support Services and the inSpire project. All rights reserved © 2013 VisitInSpire.org. Click here for content usage information.