Nov 06

Miami Beach backs medical marijuana; is Florida next?

via Miami Herald:

In Miami Beach, the straw ballot question grew out of the making of the Square Grouper documentary by local production company Rakontur in 2010.

“With Miami Beach being a leader in progressive laws, we thought a decriminalization effort would be a good idea because it was happening around the country,” said Billy Corben, who founded Rakontur with Alfred Spellman.

They helped start a petition drive that was eventually taken over by the group Sensible Florida, which gathered about 8,000 voter signatures in an effort to stop Miami Beach police from jailing people with personal amounts of marijuana of 20 grams or less.

The City of Miami Beach balked at the initial proposal, the two sides negotiated and, eventually, Miami Beach put the nonbinding straw poll question limited to medical marijuana before voters.

Oct 30

VH1 Takes An In-Depth Look At How Hip-Hop Became A Dominant Force In American Culture With The Documentary Series "The Tanning Of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop"

Jun 06
June 2006 @OceanDriveMag feature on #CocaineCowboys #TBT
Apr 13

'Scarface' leaves a mark 30 years later (Sun-Sentinel)

"Say goodnight to the bad guy!" Tony Montana shouted in a climactic scene from the cult classic, "Scarface."

But 30 years since the movie’s release, South Florida has never really said goodbye to Tony Montana.

One big fan is Alfred Spellman, whose 2006 South Florida documentary, “Cocaine Cowboys,” with film partner Billy Corben was inspired by “Scarface.”

Spellman described “Scarface” as “the ultimate immigrant story, even though it was illegal and you saw the downfall, but that’s what made it a cult classic.”

Spellman, 34, grew up in Miami Beach during the gritty “Scarface” era of run-down Art Deco motels and drug houses. He thinks that time period resonates with today’s audiences because of the movie.

"Scarface is so embedded in popular culture that everyone knows who Tony Montana is," he said. "It takes one episode of MTV’s ’Cribs’ [celebrity home reality show] to see that every hip-hop artist has a ‘Scarface’ poster.”

The movie has so influenced the hip-hop community’s rap songs and videos that the 20th anniversary deluxe DVD edition includes a 20-minute documentary called “Scarface: Origins of a Hip Hop Classic.”

Apr 02

Cocaine Cowboys' Billy Corben on unveiling Florida's Vices

Mar 10
Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday for the Miami Film Festival Cocaine Cowboys master class at the Miami Beach Cinematheque. 

Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday for the Miami Film Festival Cocaine Cowboys master class at the Miami Beach Cinematheque

Feb 21
Back In The Day: May 1997 @BillyCorben @AlfredSpellman #TBT

Back In The Day: May 1997 @BillyCorben @AlfredSpellman #TBT

Feb 15

Cocaine Cowboys masterclass seminar at the Miami International Film Festival

Come see us Saturday, March 9th at 3pm at the Miami Beach Cinematheque:

In its 13-year history, Miami’s production company rakontur has had a string of documentary hits including “Cocaine Cowboys,” “Square Grouper” and ESPN’s “The U.”

In this exclusive master class, Rakontur co-founders Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman unveil their latest projects. They’ll talk about their four-year quest to adapt “Cocaine Cowboys” into a dramatic TV series, navigating the hallways of Hollywood during a time of upheaval. They’ll also share clips and discuss three works-in-progress: “Cocaine Cowboys: Remix” that revisits the subject matter with all new footage; “Dawg Fight,” an expose of illegal backyard MMA fighting in south Florida; and “Ponzi State,” a satirical look at the boom and bust nature of the Florida economy. 

Thom Powers – Moderator Senior Program Consultant (Documentary Cinema), Miami International Film Festival 

Tickets on sale now

Dec 21
Happy Holidays from the @rakontur fam! @samrega @billycorben @alfredspellman @davidcypkin @amandaherrero @evanssss @jennamoshell

Happy Holidays from the @rakontur fam! @samrega @billycorben @alfredspellman @davidcypkin @amandaherrero @evanssss @jennamoshell

May 12

theotisjonesdropsknowledge:

Showbill (aka flyer aka promo image) for the next Combat Jack Show featuring Dallas Penn. The guests are Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman from rakontur. I included two detail shots of the guests’ names, but as always, click the main image for high res.

Credits: 1, 2

Apr 26
The rakontur crew on the red carpet at the Tribeca screening of their new @ESPN_Films doc Broke

The rakontur crew on the red carpet at the Tribeca screening of their new @ESPN_Films doc Broke

Apr 24
@AlfredSpellman watching our new @ESPN_Films doc Broke get mastered to tape for its screening at @TribecaFilmFest tmrw night

@AlfredSpellman watching our new @ESPN_Films doc Broke get mastered to tape for its screening at @TribecaFilmFest tmrw night

Mar 28
Mar 27
City of Miami honors @billycorben, @alfredspellman and @davidcypkin with keys to the city at @OCinema tonite

City of Miami honors @billycorben, @alfredspellman and @davidcypkin with keys to the city at @OCinema tonite

Mar 24
Thanks @lesleyabravanel: “Come celebrate a decade with Spellman and Corben” (Taken with instagram)

Thanks @lesleyabravanel: “Come celebrate a decade with Spellman and Corben” (Taken with instagram)

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