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Poster for Kokomo City (2023)
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Kokomo City (2023)

Opens on August 4

Director: D. Smith Run Time: 73 min. Release Year: 2023

Starring: Daniella Carter, Dominique Silver, Koko Da Doll, Liyah Mitchell, XoTommy

Country: United States
Language: English

About the film:

Winner of the 2023 Sundance NEXT Innovator Award and Audience Award
Winner of the 2023 Berlin Panorama Audience Award for Documentary Film

Directed by two-time Grammy nominee D. Smith, Kokomo City (2023) takes up a seemingly simple mantle — to present the stories of four Black transgender sex workers in New York and Georgia. Shot in striking black and white, the boldness of the facts of these women’s lives and the earthquaking frankness they share complicate this enterprise, colliding the everyday with cutting social commentary and the excavation of long-dormant truths.

“a luminous portrait of four Black trans women in all of their joy, pain, and beauty… Make no mistake, Smith announces wordlessly from behind the camera: I have arrived to change the game.”

—Jude Dry, IndieWire

Accessible for any audience, unfiltered, unabashed, and unapologetic, Smith and her subjects smash the trendy standard for authenticity, offering a refreshing rawness and vulnerability unconcerned with purity and politeness. The film was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2024 Independent Spirit Awards.

About the filmmaker:

D. Smith is a two-time Grammy-nominated songwriter-producer who produced and is featured on “Shoot Me Down” from Lil Wayne’s 8x platinum album Tha Carter III and wrote and produced the No. 1 Billboard dance single “Love Yourself” by Billy Porter. She made history as the first trans woman cast on a primetime unscripted TV show. Inspired by her own experiences, she directed, produced, and edited her first feature film, Kokomo City (2023), presenting the lives of Black transgender women and exploring their relationship with the Black community and the violence they face everyday.

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Ohio Arts Council
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Campus Partners
National Endowment for the Arts
CD 92.9 FM
G&J Pepsi
WOSU Public Media


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