TV & Film | Entertainment News
The phrase “Ask and it shall be given”, is not an unfamiliar one as most of us heard it growing up. Well, you asked, and now it’s time to receive.
The award-winning documentary “Kokomo City” will be making its way to New York City theaters tomorrow, Friday, July 28, 2023. The film will expand to additional markets on August 4th, 2023.
Gaye Magazine exclusively covered the film’s stunning debut at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, where it received the coveted NEXT Audience Award. Openly trans Director D. Smith also won Sundance's NEXT Innovator Award for the documentary.
D. Smith is a two-time Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter and artist who has worked with heavy hitters like Andre 3000, Ciara and Ne-Yo, amongst others over the years. She recently formally announced her relationship with former member of the pop-star group B5, Dustin Michael.
Shortly after its premiere, Magnolia Pictures announced that they acquired the rights to the film just ahead of the international premiere of “Kokomo City “at the Berlin International Film Festival. Following suit, Emmy-winning Lena Waithe opted to jump onto the project as executive producer alongside Rishi Rajani who acts as the CEO of Waithe’s company Hillman Grad.
The film had a simple concept: an intimate look into the lives of four Black transgender workers as they navigate their daily routines. What audiences worldwide experienced was a profoundly raw, unfiltered portrayal of both the beneficial and deeply hazardous natures surrounding the lives of sex workers.
In a brutal act, one of the stars of “Kokomo City”, Rasheeda “Koko Da Doll” Williams was shot to death in Atlanta shortly after the premiere of the film.
“I created Kokomo City because I wanted to show the fun, humanized, natural side of Black trans women. I wanted to create images that didn’t show the trauma or the statistics of murder of Transgender lives. I wanted to create something fresh and inspiring. I did that. We did that! But here we are again. It’s extremely difficult to process Koko’s passing, but as a team we are more encouraged now than ever to inspire the world with her story. To show how beautiful and full of life she was. She will inspire generations to come and will never be forgotten.” Kokomo City director D. Smith said in a statement provided exclusively to Deadline.
D. Smith beautifully weaves black and white images and the kaleidoscope of the lives of these sex workers to create a tapestry that reflects unabashedly the truths that exist in a hidden world. Through “Kokomo City”, D. Smith puts this tapestry for all to see through an unfiltered lens.
The act of bringing this documentary to local theaters is indeed a radical one and is truly groundbreaking as “Kokomo City” continues to make waves with its exposure. If the documentary comes to a theater in your city, be sure to check it out and show your support for the fabulous ladies of “Kokomo City”.
Magnolia Pictures will release KOKOMO CITY in NY theaters THIS FRIDAY, July 28th, 2023. Expanding to Additional Markets on August 4th, 2023.