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Industry Motion pictures
Founded 2000 (original)
2013 (relaunch)
Headquarters Miami, Florida, United States

Rakontur is a Miami-based media studio founded by Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben in 2000.[1]


Rakontur's feature documentary debut, Raw Deal: A Question of Consent, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001, making Corben the youngest director to premiere in Sundance history.[2] Examining the alleged rape of an exotic dancer at a University of Florida fraternity house, the film utilized extensive clips from videotape footage of the alleged assault. Considered by critics to be “one of the most controversial films of the modern day” and “one of the most compelling pieces of non-fiction ever produced,” (Film Threat Magazine),[3] Raw Deal landed on the cover of New York Post [4][non-primary source needed] and has been seen all over the world.[citation needed]

Following that success Rakontur took on another Florida true-crime story, this one closer to home. The New York Times called Cocaine Cowboys, “a hyperventilating account of the blood-drenched Miami drug culture in the 1970s and 1980s.” [5] The non-fiction film chronicles how the cocaine trade built their hometown of Miami through firsthand accounts of some of the most successful smugglers of the era and the deadliest hitman of the cocaine wars.

Cocaine Cowboys was New York Magazine's Critic's Pick[6] when it premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and, after a limited theatrical release, the movie became a worldwide phenomenon on DVD[citation needed] and the highest-rated documentary in the history of the Showtime cable network.[citation needed] The sequel, Cocaine Cowboys 2: Hustlin’ with the Godmother, was released in 2008.

The U, a feature documentary about the championship history of the University of Miami Hurricanes football program, produced by Rakontur for ESPN's 30 for 30 series, became the highest-rated[7] documentary in the network's 30 year history, when it debuted on December 12, 2009, following the Heisman Trophy presentation.

Rakontur debuted two new films in the first half of 2011. Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja, examining the free-wheeling pot smuggling of South Florida in the 1970s, had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in March, followed by a limited theatrical and DVD release by Magnolia Pictures.[8] The next month they premiered Limelight, a chronicle of the rise and fall of infamous New York nightclub mogul Peter Gatien, at the Tribeca Film Festival, released by Magnolia in September 2011.[9]

Rakontur released Broke, a documentary about former professional athletes who have squandered their wealth, at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.


In 2007 and again in 2010, Rakontur was selected for the Realscreen Global 100,[10][11] “an annual list of the most exciting and influential production companies working in non-fiction film and television." That same year, Spellman and Corben were listed among of the 50 Most Influential People in Miami by The SunPost[12][non-primary source needed]. In December 2009, the Miami New Times declared Cocaine Cowboys #3 on its "Top Ten of the Decade: Miami in Pop Culture."[13]

Coming up[edit]

In 2012, the company produced Dawg Fight, a brutal expose on underground backyard MMA (mixed martial arts) fighting in one of Miami's toughest neighborhoods.


Web series[edit]

  • Clubland Miami (2008)


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 18, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Rakontur Films' Marketing Strategy". Bloomberg Businessweek. August 27, 2008. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Review: Raw Deal: A Question of Consent". Film Threat Magazine. 
  4. ^ "Rape, Lies and Videotape". New York Post. 
  5. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (October 27, 2006). "Movie Review: Cocaine Cowboys — A Culture Built of Guns, Drugs and Blood". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ "2006 Tribeca Scorecard". New York Magazine. 
  7. ^ Levine, Stuart (2009-12-16). "'The U' sets docu record at ESPN". Variety. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 14, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Ticket frenzy". New York Post. April 22, 2011. 
  10. ^ "2007 Global 100". Realscreen. 
  11. ^ "2010 Global 100". Realscreen. 
  12. ^ "50 Most Influential People in Miami". The Sun Post. 
  13. ^ "Top Ten of the Decade: Miami in Pop Culture". Miami New Times. 

External links[edit]