Kokomo City, D. Smith’s documentary about the lives of four Black transgender sex workers in Atlanta and New York, will premiere on Paramount+ and Showtime on Feb. 2, 2024, Deadline exclusively revealed.
The film won several awards such as NEXT Audience and Innovator Awards at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as Best Documentary Film at the Chicago Film Critics’ Association Awards.
The documentary will be available to stream on the Paramount+ with Showtime plan on Feb. 2. It will premiere on the Showtime channel that same night at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The movie was released in cinemas, starting with New York and Los Angeles, this summer by Magnolia Pictures.
Kokomo City’s Unforgettables
The film’s press release reads: “In the wildly entertaining and refreshingly unfiltered documentary, 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.”
Kokomo City is Smith’s directorial debut. She is a two-time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer. She also edited and shot the documentary. Emmy winner Lena Waithe executive produced the film. Smith also produced the film with Harris Doran and Bill Butler.
During Deadline’s For the Love of Docs interview, Smith related how she found her four leading women. She said she went on the Instagram accounts of Hollywood’s high-profile trans people. Smith then combed through their posts’ reactions.
“I sifted through their comments,” Smith began.
“I found the girls that way, because really my goal was to cast women that look like the [trans] girls that were being killed. Those women never have a platform until it’s too late. So, I wanted to get a deeper inside, intimate conversation and look into that world,” she continued.
D. Smith: Kokomo City is personal
Smith went public with her transition in 2016. She stated that when she came out, the music industry effectively shunned her.
“To transition and everything get thrown out of the window — all your credibility, all of your accolades, all of the titles that people give you, it just tears you absolutely into pieces,” she said to Deadline during the documentary’s Los Angeles theatrical release. Celebrities, including those in the music industry, have been under fire for making negative comments about transgender people.
“I remember some people around the [music] community saying I was going to ruin my career [by coming out]. And I said, ‘Okay. I can’t wait to prove them wrong,’” Smith added.
And she’s only getting started. Kokomo City also won Berlin International Film Festival’s Panorama: Best Documentary Film. The four leads won Cinema Eye Honors’ The Unforgettables.
The film was dedicated to Koko Da Doll who was found dead with a gunshot would in April. Smith said Koko “will inspire generations to come and will never be forgotten.”