Mobster calls Regina home
|A New York City mobster is coming to the Queen City Photo courtesy of Teletoon
Jimmy Falcone seeks refuge in Regina
Most Saskatchewanians are aware of the connections between organized crime families and Moose Jaw during the prohibition days, but were you aware that there’s a mobster walking the streets of Regina? Yup, Jimmy Falcone AKA Jimmy MacDougal, former New York mob boss, and has been seen living in Regina.
He’s also a cartoon character.
Falcone, the protagonist in the upcoming Teletoon series, Fugget About It, will be making his first appearance on the small screen on Friday, September 7 at 10:00 PM ET/PT on Teletoon.
Not only is Fugget About It set in the Queen City, but it was created by Willem Wennekers, an alumnus of the Film and Video department here at the University of Regina. Wennekers and co-creater, Nicholas Tabarrock, came up with the idea for the show by indulging in their shared love for gangster movies and dark humour.
“In discussing the things we enjoy from those movies, even films like Goodfellas and The Godfather, even though they’re dramas, they’re also very funny with a dark sense of humour, and I think that dark, edgy sense of humour is what was an engine for us to keep developing the show,” said Wennekers.
Both thought doing an animated series would be the easiest way to go about the show, but soon found otherwise.
“Nicholas [Tabarrock] and I wanted to create an animated show after flash animation started becoming very prevalent on the internet. We figured it must be a cinch to make an animated show. Little did we know, it’s not a cinch; it’s a really long and difficult process,” said Wennekers.
Despite fictional characters with ties to organized crime families living in our quiet prairie town, Wennekers doubts any actual mobsters living among us.
“I don’t know if there’s any mobsters hiding in Regina. I’ve always found Regina to be a pretty friendly place,” said Wennekers.
Regina’s friendliness made it an ideal city to juxtapose a hot-tempered mobster relocated via the witness protection program after testifying against his former cohorts.
“I don’t know if there’s any mobsters hiding in Regina. I’ve always found Regina to be a pretty friendly place." – Willem Wennekers
“I loved the idea because I lived in Regina for seven years, and I kind of know the city, and the people in Regina — it’s a very friendly city. Some of the nicest people I know live there, and I thought that’s the perfect foil for our hard-nosed mob character, to kind of balance up against the … people from Regina,” said Wennekers.
Wennekers began his film career while living here in Regina, but moved away to Toronto to get married. Had he not moved away to get married, he “definitely would have – if I’d stayed [in Regina] – kept pursuing my career in film, up until earlier this year when the government got rid of the production tax credit”.
In time though, Wennekers hopes something like the old Sask Film Employment Tax Credit will return, so that shows like Fugget About It have the opportunity to be created here in Saskatchewan.
“I think it’s really a shame that they got rid of that tax credit, and I know a lot of producers have left Saskatchewan, but hopefully in time, if there’s a new government, they bring it back, and the industry can pick up where it left off,” said Wennekers.