Part of Doc Spotlight.
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. 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.
“D. Smith knows how to make a person stand up and pay attention. From the rollicking opening scene of KOKOMO CITY…it’s clear the terms are being set by a visionary artist who just happened to funnel her interdisciplinary talents into filmmaking for this particular project. How lucky we are that she found this medium.” —Jude Dry, IndieWire “First-time filmmaker D. Smith imbues her feature debut with a vibrant, immediate energy that feels incredibly unique… Sharp and stylised, the high-contrast black and white photography regularly punctuated with yellow typography lending the picture an artful yet DIY feel.” —Marina Ashioti, Little White Lies “From its opening moments, KOKOMO CITY distinguishes itself from other documentaries… A testament to the resilience of Smith and her participants… The collected testimonies create a multi-dimensional portrait of what it means to be a contemporary Black trans woman, and add to KOKOMO CITY’s raw perspective.” —Lovia Gayarkye, Hollywood Reporter