Kokomo City

Morning routines and conversations in bed, gossip and real talk. In encounters and interviews, D. Smith portrays four Black trans sex workers in New York and Georgia. The protagonists discuss their lives with relish but without any sugar-coating. The conversations that emerge are deep and passionate reflections on socio-political and social realities as well as perceptive analyses of belonging and identity within the Black community and beyond. Dramatisations and reconstructions, performative interventions and associative collages of biographical set pieces are brought together organically in haunting black-and-white images accompanied by a carefully deployed soundtrack. Dreams and memories, battles fought and crises overcome are openly addressed without skirting topics such as precarity and violence. The protagonists also tell us about their lovers, friends and families, and how these relationships are marked by taboos and fetishisation, but also by their own desires. This vibrant portrait gives them space for their uninhibited and defiant narratives and undermines white, cis-heteronormative assumptions and stigmatisations.
by D. Smith
with Daniella Carter, Koko Da Doll, Liyah Mitchell, Dominique Silver
USA 2023 English 73’ Black/White International premiere | Debut film | Documentary Form


  • Daniella Carter
  • Koko Da Doll
  • Liyah Mitchell
  • Dominique Silver


Director D. Smith
Cinematography D. Smith
Editing D. Smith
Sound Ric Schnupp
Producers D. Smith, Harris Doran, Bill Butler
Executive Producers Stacy Barthe, William Melillo, Rishi Rajani, Lena Waithe

Produced by

Couch Potatoe Pictures

Madison Square Films

D. Smith

The director first made her name in the music industry as a producer, singer and songwriter. She received two Grammy nominations and worked with musicians including Lil Wayne, Katy Perry and Billy Porter and with producers such as Timbaland and Marc Ronson. In 2014, she began her transition into a woman and the offers of work as a musician dried up. She then turned her attention to filmmaking and began the three-year process of creating her debut documentary, Kokomo City. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2023.


2023 Kokomo City; documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023