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n. one who tells stories with skill.

"They've created a whole new audience: an alternave, youth-leaning,


noncon-seeking core." - Tom Quinn, Magnolia Pictures, BusinessWeek prole on rakontur
Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman, both South Florida naves, formed their rst
producon company when they were sophomores in high school. Their debut
feature documentary, Raw Deal: A Queson of Consent, premiered at the 2001
Sundance Film Sundance Film Fesval, making Corben one of the youngest directors in Sundance
history. Examining the alleged rape of a stripper at a University of Florida fraternity
house, Raw Deal was hailed by crics as, one of the most controversial lms of the
modern day and, one of the most compelling pieces of non-con ever
produced (Film Threat).
FFollowing that success, Corben and Spellman founded rakontur, a Miami-based
media studio, and took on another true Florida crime story, this one closer to home.
The New York Times called their second documentary Cocaine Cowboys,
a hypervenlang account of the blood-drenched Miami drug culture in the 1970s
and 1980s. Through rsthand accounts from some of the most successful smugglers
of the era and the deadliest hitman of the cocaine wars, the lm chronicles how the
drug trade built Miami.
AAer a Tribeca Film Fesval premiere and a limited theatrical release via Magnolia
Pictures in 2006, Cocaine Cowboys became a worldwide cult hit, inspiring several
spin-os. The sequel, Cocaine Cowboys 2: Hustlin with the Godmother, was re-
leased by Magnolia in 2008. rakontur has partnered with Jerry Bruckheimer and Mi-
chael Bay to develop a Cocaine Cowboys dramac series for HBO, to be wrien by
Emmy Award winner Michelle Ashford (The Pacic). A coee table book entled
Cocaine Cowboys: An Explicit History of Miamis Drug Rush will be published by
MTV Books to coincide with the 2013 release of Cocaine Cowboys: Remix.
(rak on tur)
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2012 2013
DAWG
FIGHT
The U
rakonturs next feature documentary The U, produced for ESPNs acclaimed 30 for 30 series, recounted the championship history of the notorious University of Miami
football program. The U became the highest-rated documentary in ESPN's 30 year history when it premiered in December 2009.
In 2011, rakontur released two feature documentaries:
Square Grouper examined the free-wheeling pot smuggling era of South Florida in the 1970s. Aer its premiere at SxSW in March 2011 , Salon described it as, a
hilarious, tragic tale of Florida ganja infused with the spirit of Elmore Leonard and Jimmy Bue.
Limelight chronicled the rise and fall of New York nightclub mogul Peter Gaen set against the Giuliani transformaon of New York in the 1990s, Aer its premiere at
the Tribeca Film Fesval, Film Journal called it a darkly fascinang documentary; a sad, messy, fascinang tale, populated by an unusually motley cast of characters,
many of whom could have stepped right out of Marn Scorseses GoodFellas.

Broke, rakonturs second feature documentary for ESPN, premired in October 2012. Exposng the epidemic of pro athletes who have lost it all , Broke shaered
rakonturs previous rangs record and is now the highest rated documentary in ESPNs vaunted 30 for 30 series.
rrakonturs 2013 slate includes:
Dawg Fight, a brutal expos on the underground backyard MMA ghng circuit hidden away in one of Miami's toughest neighborhoods.

Cocaine Cowboys: Remix, a wholesale re-edit of the cult classic, with never-before-heard stories and never-before-seen footage

The Tanning of America, a four-hour documentary miniseries for VH1 based on the book by Steve Stoute, chronicling the pervasive inuence of hip-hop on an enre
generaon of Americans through pop culture, society and polics, culminang with the elecon of Barack Obama in 2008.

Social Media
Many people familiar with 31-year-old
Alfred Spellman probably don't realize
the wealth of knowledge and topics
that the rakontur producer frequently
tweets. While most Twier users
babble about nonsense on the social
networking tool, in 140 characters or
fewer, fewer, Spellman lets us know about
inner happenings at rakontur and
comments on drug-related news and
general Miami fucked-up-ness.
Film on Miami drug trade
is a bootleg hit even before release
"You cannot buy the type of word-of-mouth buzz that starts at the
street level. It's friends telling friends, and those are the people that
trust each other the most. The word-of-mouth adversing is the best
form of adversing you can have."
When it [The U] ran during ESPN's 2009
documentary lm series 30 for 30, it
became ESPN's most watched
documentary of all me - beang out
even ESPN'S The Greatest Game Ever.
WWhy? One of the reasons was that The
U's 95,000+ Facebook fans shared,
tweeted and promoted The U for 4
months before the lm hit the airwaves.
Pung that in perspecve, that's about
half of what Honda managed over a
similar me period.
Social Secrets
Of The U And Billy Corben
Press
For all the policians and well-meaning
philanthropists on this list, none has the audacity to
reveal as much about the city as Billy Corben and
Alfred Spellman.
50 Most Inuenal People in Miami:
Billy Corben & Alfred Spellman (The Moviemakers)
Miami Splice: Local lmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman document stories about the
seedy side of Florida.
Dana Keith, the director and founder of the independent-oriented Miami Beach Cinematheque, is also an admirer of the
duo. I like that Corben and Spellman are tackling some hair-raising subjects that really happened, he says,
subjecng people to the real side of life rather than the polished, movie version of life.
That is what I call in-your-face lmmaking,.
BIG SCORE: Who knew a documentary about Miami's '80s cocaine wars would lead to three
sequels, a book deal and an HBO series? Producers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman did.
Since the premiere three years ago of the original Cocaine Cowboys...Corben and Spellman, both 30, have been riding a
growing wave of success. What began as an aempt by the two University of Miami alums to chronicle the citys
shoot-em-up, blow-em-up cocaine wars of the early 1980s has morphed into a lucrave branding operaon.
The team behind rakontur lms - childhood buddies Billy
Corben, Alfred Spellman and Dave Cypkin - have carved out a
dream life by making the kind of fast-paced, griy
documentaries that would make Michael Moore weep.
The Doc Doctors
Their work explores the fascinang stories of crime, corrupon,
vice, and racial strife that make Miami the global metropolis it is
today. The result are lms with a strong local feel that aempt to
explain, or at least describe, the ineable modern myths that have
come out of South Florida.
Rakontur: Learn How a Tiny Company
Can Produce 5 Documentaries in a Year
10 Year Retrospective
Here, too, is something you wont nd anywhere else in South Florida: A mulmedia
company with a decades worth of work that has earned naonal aenon; several in-
triguing projects in the pipeline (including what is likely to be their most commercial lm
to date); and absolutely no plans to ever relocate. -
The end result helped to dene the companys style deeply journalisc but with a
true-crime novel air. Corben, Spellman, and Cypkin never shy away from the racy, ridicu-
lous, or salacious, much like the city of Miami itself. -
Miami Beach-based content studio Rakontur [has been] capturing these stories for the
big screen for 10 years, entertaining us, shocking our friends, and enabling us to under-
stand this sweltering Babylon just a lile bit beer than before. -
"They're from Miami. They get Miami. Much like our city, their lms are in your face.
They're unapologec. And even though they shine a light on the seedy underbelly of the
city, I think it comes from a love of Miami." -
rakontur receives the Key to Miami
Billy Corben interviewing Mickey Munday
watch now:
The cocaine trade of the 70s and 80s had an indelible impact on contemporary Miami. Smugglers and dis-
tributors forever changed a once sleepy rerement community into one of the world's most glamorous
hot spots, the epicenter of a $20 billion annual business fed by Colombia's Medellin cartel. By the early
80s, Miami's tripled homicide rate had made it the murder capital of the country, for which a Time cover
story dubbed the city "Paradise Lost."

With Cocaine Cowboys, lmmaker Billy Corben whose rst feature Raw Deal: A Queson Of Consent,
caused a sensaon at the 2001 Sundance Film Fesval paints a dazzling portrait of a cultural explosion
that sll echoes as Hollywood myth. Composer of the original Miami Vice theme, Jan Hammer, provides
the score.
clip - Jons Money
clip - Chucho Hit
trailer
Tales of ingenious smuggling methods, Colombian cartle crazies and
enough white powder to fuel the rapacious appetite of every party
animal in America.
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Forget Scarface and Miami Vice. Cocaine Cowboys is the real deal.
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"Griselda Blanco, a homicidal Colombian Godmother who makes Tony
Montana look like Mother Teresa.
-
"If The Godfather movies were based on real gangsters and
some of them were still around to talk about the good old days., they
might be as fascinating as the characters in Cocaine Cowboys.
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"If you needed further proof that the documentaries currently coming out
of America are better than the films being produced by Hollywood, look
no further."
-
Such a buzz to watch! Kinetic and absorbing, the doc equivalent of
Goodfellas.
-
Billy Corbens often hilarious, exuberant documentary practically
celebrates the bloodbath that was Miamis cocaine heyday.
-
A hyperventilating account of the blood-drenched Miami drug culture in the
1970s and 80s, the movie overflows with cops and coroners, snitches and
smugglers, reporters and importers.
-
Cocaine Cowboys is a fascinating look at a time when Miami was so flush
with cash from cocaine that it was completely buffered from a nationwide
recession.
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Not only does the film bristle with Scarface-esque machismo, violence and
comeuppance, but it is intelligently and cogently presented as well. No surprise,
the movie has blown up in the underground, and is quite likely the only
documentary thats ever been widely bootlegged in the Miami black market.
-
Clip - rst 10 minutes of CC2
In this documentary sequel to the lm that followed the development of the cocaine trade in 1980s-era
Miami, lmmaker Billy Corben details the rise of Oakland, CA-based cocaine dealer Charles Cosby, who
went from small-me drug slinger to mul-millionaire in a maer of months. Back in the early '90s, Cosby
was selling ounces on the street and struggling to survive. Later, aer wring a fan leer to "Cocaine God-
mother" Griselda Blanco, who was serving a sentence in a federal prison, Cosby and Blanco struck up a
lucrave partnership. Just six short months later, Cosby and Blanco were lovers, and the former fan now
placed in cha placed in charge of Blanco's 40-million-dollar a year cocaine business.
But over the years, Blanco had earned the nickname "The Black Widow" for her propensity to drain men dry
and permanently dispose of them when they ceased to be of use to her. Before long, Blanco becomes ob-
sessed with ensuring that Cosby is faithful to her, and the former small-me drug dealer nally begins to re-
alize that he may have inadvertently goen in over his head.
watch now:
CC2 Trailer
March 10, 2011 - The Bruckheimer and Bay -
produced drama project for HBO is shiing
into high gear with a new writer. Michelle
Ashford (The Pacic) has been tapped to
write a new pilot script for the potenal
drama series.
Inspired by Billy Corben's 2006
documentary, "Cowboys" chronicles the
early days of cocaine tracking in Miami. It
is being produced by Warner Bros. TV,
where Jerry Bruckheimer TV is based.
Not only will they be teaming up with
super-producers Michael Bay and Jerry
Bruckheimer to turn their Cocaine
Cowboys documentary into an HBO
series, but they've also announced on
their blog they're developing a half-hour
series for Adult Swim called Square
Gr Grouper with another type of
super-producer, Pharrell Williams.
The very fact that a
documentary could make a list
of pop culture moments says a
lot about this lm. Exploring the
shady sides of Miami's '80s drug
culture, the lm was equal parts
entertainment and educaon.
watch now:
Throughout the 1980s, Miami, Florida, was at the center of a racial and cultural shi taking place
throughout the country. Overwhelmed by riots and tensions, Miami was a city in ux, and the
University of Miami football team served as a microcosm for this evoluon. The image of the
predominantly white university was forever changed when coach Howard Schnellenberger
scoured some of the toughest gheos in Florida to recruit mostly black players for his team. With
a newly branded swagger, inspired and fueled by the quickly growing local Miami hip hop culture,
these Hurricanes took on larger-than-life personalies and won four naonal tles between 1983
and and 1991. Filmmaker Billy Corben, a Miami nave and University of Miami alum, tells the story of
how these "Bad Boys" of football changed the atude of the game they played, and how this
serene campus was transformed into "The U."
Premiered December 12th 2009 on ESPN and became the highest rated
documentary in the history of the network.

Released on DVD August 17th 2010.
Opening Credits clip - The Fatigues clip - Pay for Play
Airing Saturday night, director Billy Corben's look back at the heyday of the U.
of Miami football program drew a record-seng 2.3 million viewers. "The
Greatest Game," which aired last December and examined the 1958 NFL
championship game between the Balmore Colts and New York Giants, held
the previous record at 1.8 million.
The U sets docu record at ESPN
Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman accurately and
colorfully capture the program's glory years...The lm
is an enjoyable trip down memory lane, lled with
unforgeable game footage, amusing anecdotes and
entertaining interviews with more than 30 people who
made the program maer.
The U is a brilliant and horrifying history of the good-
old-bad-old-days of the 1980s and early 1990s...a
grimly fascinang portrait of a program reeling out of
control.
-
Corben directs with a breathless pace and ash
thats just right for Canes...its never less than
completely engaging.
-
DVD sales
#1 Bestseller in Football
#2 Bestseller in Sports
Winner of
the 2010
Peabody
Award
According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated arcle, 60 percent of NBA players are broke within ve years of rerement. For 78 percent
of NFL players, it takes only three years. Drawing surprisingly vulnerable confessions from rered stars like Jamal Mashburn,
Bernie Kosar, and Andre Rison, as well as Marvin Miller, the former execuve director of the MLB Players Associaon, this
fascinang documentary digs into the pyschology of men whose compeve nature carries them to victory on the eld and ruin
o it.
Billy Billy Corben (Cocaine Cowboys) paints a complex picture of the many forces that drain athletes' bank accounts, placing some of
the blame on the culture at large while sll holding these giants accountable for their own hubris. A story of the dark side of
success, Broke is an allegory for the nancial woes haunng economies and individuals all over the world.
millionaires than I could have imagined, and is a damned
slick piece of non-con lmmaking.
Corben tells this story in his typical ashy style; the picture moves
fast, nding a slick aesthec to match the seducveness of the lives
being described...it creates far more sympathy for these fallen
series with the potenal to bring about posive change in sports.
Shocking, sobering and somemes just sad, Broke is yet another
terric installment in the "30 for 30" franchise, and a promising start
for this ocial second run. It may also be the rst documentary in the
Baseball, who cant imagine why anybody thinks theres a problem here.
In Broke, Corben once again displays his astounding narrave skills,
weaving a complex tapestry of facts, numbers and anecdotes from dozens
of interviews and a mountain of archival footage. Not to be found among
the laer: anything from the see-no-evil NBA, NHL and Major League

Upcoming ESPN Film, BROKE, by rakontur is an absolute must-see doc
about how pro athletes go from riches to rags. Should by mandatory
viewing for every professional athlete in every sport. - Jason Hirschhorn
I loved Broke!!! Had me shaking my head and saying wow out loud...It
was fantasc...a must-see!! - Erin Andrews |
Billy Corben really is our kind of documentary lmmaker. Corben centers
his aenon on the wide world of sports, specically on the post-career
lives of superstar athletes who cant hold onto their riches. Financially
taxed, one-me players...provide the lters-o, rsthand accounts of how
greatness on the playing eld doesnt necessarily translate to monetary
intelligence o of the gridirons, courts, and diamonds.
Just watched 30 for 30 on
Espn.......Be smart with our $
I hope all athletes and aspiring
athletes watched the 30 for 30
#Broke...dont just say it cant
happen to you. Do something
about it.
All athletes & entertainers should
watch Broke on @ESPN tonight.
say.ly/SBf4iew
Everyone in sports, doesnt matter
if u play or not. Associated with it
in some form or another should be
watching ESPN #30for30
BROKE
The most social shows on TV yesterday
30 for 30
Sons of Anarchy
Teen Mom
The Voice
Dancing With the Stars
Highest Rated
As the owner of legendary hotspots like Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium, and Club USA, Peter
Gaen was the king of the 1980s New York club scene. Gaen built a nightclub empire, the
largest ever in the history of New York, which counted tens of thousands of patrons per
night in its peak years and acted as a conduit for a culture that, for many, dened the image
of an era in New York. Years of legal bales and police pressure spearheaded by Mayor
Giulianis determined crackdown on nightlife in the mid-90s led to his eventual deportaon
back to Canada, and the shuering of his glitzy kingdom. From the director of Cocaine
Co Cowboys, this exuberant documentary charts Gaen's rise and fall against the
transformaon of New York City, oering a wild ride through a now-closed chapter in the
history of NYC nightlife.
What begins as an expose on Caligulas den... Limelight lis the
entertaining veil of smoke and mirrors... -
"With his MTV-style, neon-light eding tricks, and a spate of
long-forgoen news clips and lile-seen club footage at his
disposal, Corben plunges with electrifying zeal into the depravity,
the chaos and, simultaneously, the loving open-mindedness of the
Limelight crowd." -
Limelight is a very sharp portrait of how New York became the
town that it is today. -
Darkly fascinang documentary...its a sad, messy, fascinang tale,
populated by an unusually motley cast of characters, many of
whom could have stepped right out of Marn Scorseses
GoodFellas. -
...chillingly shows how the out-all-night lifestyle can take its toll.
-
Limelight sends us tripping on a relentless 100-minute roll. -
The sense of strapping in for a wild ride amid excing music and the
non-stop party makes Limelight an entertaining spin around
Manhaan by night. -
...paints a vivid portrait of Gaen and his empire, celebrang the
evoluon of popular music, style, and nightlife culture in the Big
Apple while exposing an underbelly of sex, drugs, murder and
government corrupon. -
A sold-out screening of a Tribeca Film Fesval documentary about
infamous former Limelight owner Peter Gaen has old-school
clubbers begging for ckets. -
...its like the end of Casino: Sin City converted into Disney World.
-
...full of enough double-crosses and shady dealings to fuel several
crime epics... -
Limelight delivers the messed up goods. -
Official Trailer
watch now:
"Square Grouper is an engaging counter balance to the franc acon
of Cocaine Cowboys, hing most of the right notes with authenc
voices and atmosphere.
"Corben's formula for nding fun in documentary form is matched by
a limited number of lmmakers. Square Grouper is sure to plant wide
smiles on many fesval faces."
The easy going tone of Square Grouper was reminiscent of a chilled
out, reefer enhanced day in the sultry Florida sun...rakontur's best
yet.
"Corben's storytelling reminds me a lile of David Simon's in the TV
series The Wire."
"An engaging look at some of the most unlikely
marijuana smugglers in Florida history."
Corben has done an impressive amount of journalisc
research that will be of parcular interest to South
Florida audiences. Every me you think Miami couldnt
possibly get any weirder, it does.
One of the most interesng, entertaining and informave
documentaries so far this year.
"So much pot is consumed that you could get a contact
high just watching it."
A hilarious, tragic tale of Florida ganja infused with
the spirit of Elmore Leonard and Jimmy Bue.
-
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-
-
-
-
-
-
-
watch now:
In 1979, the U.S. Customs Service reported that 87% of all marijuana
seizures in the U.S. were made in the South Florida area. Due to the region's
5,000 miles of coast and coastal waterways and close proximity to the
Caribbean and Lan America, South Florida was a pot smuggler's paradise.
In sharp contrast to the brazenly violent cocaine cowboys of the 1980s,
Miami's marijuana smugglers were cooler, calmer, and typically nonviolent.
Square Grouper paints a vivid portrait of Miami's pot smuggling culture in
the the '70s and '80s and its major players: the smuggling Black Tuna Gang, the
pot dealing Ethiopian Zion Copc Church and the ny shing village
Everglades City.
Square Grouper [skwair groo-per] noun:
1. Nickname given to bales of marijuana thrown overboard or out of airplanes
in South Florida in the 70's and 80's.
!|1trtrt1;trMtit.ttm
coming 2013
West Perrine, Florida is a suburban gheo in Southwest Miami-Dade County. Over
73% of its residents are African-American and more than a third of them are
unemployed. Violent crimes occur on a daily basis in this neighborhood of less than
two square miles, where much of its adult male populaon winds up dead or in prison
before their 30th birthday.
But there is hope in the hood...
Dh Dhar "Dada 5000" Harris (6'3", 270lbs., bench presses 670lbs) grew up blocks away
from Perrine's MMA sensaon, Kimbo Slice, and spent a year traveling the world as
Kimbos bodyguard.
When Kimbo's manager buried video of Dada's spectacular backyard ght debut, for
fear of Dada overshadowing his rising superstar, Dada leaves Kimbo's crew and makes
a life-changing decision: Dada builds a ring in his momma's backyard and transforms
himself into the Don King of illegal backyard ghts in Perrine.
No No doctors, no ambulance. Just two men in a 12'x12' ring baling in a savage
bare-knuckle ght to the nish. Dada's gladiators give everything in the backyard to
feed their families and to try to ght their way out of hood. Meanwhile while Dada
returns to the ring, he is discovered by professional scouts and gets his shot at turning
pro in the octagon at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Trailer Miami New Times prole
DECEMBER 2011
Kimbo Slice isnt the only individual in the backyard ghng scene and rakontur is preparing
to shed light on the enre backyard ghng scene with the documentary Dawg Fight.
-
...Harris took the street ghng model made popular by Kimbo Slice and turned it into a local
league as opposed to just a one man show...
-
Trailer
Clip - first 20 minutes
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One of the most important documentaries in at least a decade.
One of the most powerful docs I've ever seen.
Disturbing, uerly absorbing...don't be surprised to
nd yourself changing your mind again and again, about whom
to believe.
One of the most controversial lms of the modern day.
One of the most compelling pieces of non-con
aaever produced.
It's the ultra-explicit reality show you'll never see on TV - a
shockumentary that forever shaers the boundaries of what a
theatrical feature can, should, and will depict.
A bidding war erupted yesterday at the Sundance Film Fesval
as studios scrambled to buy a documentary containing shocking
footage of frat-house sex, including an alleged rape.
watch now:
Raw Deal is one of the most exposing and controversial documentaries about rape and fraternity life today. Billy Corben's
remarkable expos on the contested rape of 27-year-old Lisa Gier King in Gainesville, Florida, is sure to provoke heated discussions
everywhere about rape, women's rights, and male privilege.
On On Friday, February 26, 1999, Delta Chi frat brothers at the University of Florida held a party at their fraternity house and hired
exoc dancer Lisa Gier King to perform. The following morning, a half-naked and distraught King ran from the house, claiming that
Michael Yarhaus had raped her. Her most startling allegaon was that frat brother Tony Marzullo had videotaped the crime.
Two days later, King herself was arrested for ling a false police report aer authories claimed the rape showed "clearly willing and
consensual sex."
The The community was stunned by King's arrest aer it was discovered that the videotape showed Marzullo himself repeatedly
addressing the camera to gleefully describe that what he was witnessing was a rape.
Under pressure from the media and Campus NOW to charge the frat brothers with rape, State Aorney Rod Smith arrogantly
responded by making the tape available to the public so people could "make up their own minds."
Filmma Filmmaker Billy Corben takes Smith's challenge and presents the scandalizing, sexually explicit footage alongside interviews of
parcipants involved with the case to conduct an invesgaon the police never did. The result is a shocking insight on fraternity life
and the polically constructed nature of "the truth."

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