In the wildly entertaining and refreshingly unfiltered documentary Kokomo City, filmmaker D. Smith passes the mic to four Black transgender sex workers in Atlanta and New York City – Daniella Carter, Koko Da Doll, Liyah Mitchell, and Dominique Silver – who unapologetically break down the walls of their profession. Holding nothing back, the film vibrates with energy, sex, challenge, and hard-earned wisdom. Smith said she wanted to “show the fun, humanized, natural side of Black trans women.”

This vital portrait, edited and shot by Smith in bold black and white, is her feature directorial debut. A two-time Grammy-nominated producer, singer, and songwriter, Smith made history as the first trans woman cast on a primetime unscripted TV show. Executive produced by Lena Waithe, Kokomo City won the Sundance Film Festival’s NEXT Innovator Award and NEXT Audience Award, as well as the Berlinale’s Audience Award in the Panorama Documentary section.

Runtime: R (Contains strong sexual content and language) • 1 hr 13 min 

Praise for Kokomo City

Champs-Élysées Film Festival: Won – Prix du jury Longs métrages américains, Won – Prix de la Critique Long métrage américain

Chicago Film Critics Association: Won – Best Documentary

Columbus Film Critics Association: Won – Best Documentary

“This is not a maudlin film; instead it is a movie with heroines who fight tooth and nail for their lives and their self-worth.” -New York Times

“A triumphant and impactful directorial debut for D. Smith with the staying power of Paris Is Burning, Kokomo City asks us what it means to be at peace with ourselves and what we’re willing to sacrifice to get there.” -Chicago Reader

“For all the exaggerated winks in the music choices and provocative shots of beautifully lit buttocks, the film is an open and celebratory space in which the women can tell their stories.” -Observer (UK)

“Smith presents the danger as the cumulative effect of being trans and Black and a sex worker in America… Smith doesn’t blanch at the sexual, either in conversation or visuals, but that’s exactly the kind of earnestness the topic requires.” -Austin Chronicle

“Filmed in silky black and white, Kokomo City favors images of its heroines primping, posing and lounging languidly while they relate their home truths, but Smith keeps the beauty shots moving with quick asides, animations, neon-yellow screen titles.” -Washington Post

“A compelling debut from a director with clear vision, this intimate and funny documentary is a quotable, memeable, memorable slice of American Queerama.” -The Pink Lens

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