RETURN TO ME
JENNIE LEW TUGEND (Producer) has earned her place as one of the most respected producers in Hollywood, equally adept at creative and nuts and bolts" decisions. Tugend produced Free Willy, which has now become a family film classic. She went on to produce the sequel Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, released in 1995, and completed the trilogy with
1997's Free Willy 3. As part of the successful franchise, Tugend was one of
the executive producers of the Free Willy animated series on ABC. which aired for two seasons.
In a rare case of life imitating art, Tugend was also one of the prime movers in the successful freeing of the "real" Willy. a magnificent 8,000 pound orca named Keiko, from its inadequate home in a Mexico City amusement park to special facilities first in Oregon, and now in the waters of Iceland, from which Keiko was originally captured.
Tugend also produced the science fiction family adventure Star Kid in early 1998 for which she received an Award of Excellence by the Film Advisory Board.
Tugend also co-produced Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2 and Lethal Weapon 3 — all of which were directed by Richard
Tugend was Executive Vice-President of Richard Donner Productions. There she nurtured projects from script development through production, post-production and marketing. While at Richard Donner Productions,
Tugend co-produced Radio Flyer and Scrooged, which were directed by
Donner. For HBO, she co-produced the wildly popular Tales From the Crypt series for four seasons, and was instrumental in the development, production and post-production of The Goonies and The Lost Boys.
Prior to her association with Donner, Tugend was an assistant to Academy Award-winning producer Jerome Hellman (Midnight Cowboy) during the time his company was developing The Mosquito Coast. Tugend entered the entertainment industry as assistant to literary agents at 1CM in both their Los Angeles and New York offices.
Tugend recently produced the short film Soul Mates with her husband, James
Tugend, who also wrote and directed. The film won the Gold Special Jury Award at Filmfest Houston. She has also been a mentor in the prestigious Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California for the last five years, and is a member of the producer's branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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