We salute our friends at the Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) for their ongoing commitment to queer content. Celebrating their 20th anniversary—the festival runs April 20-30, 2023—CUFF is presenting the Canadian Premier of Kokomo City.
Directed by two-time Grammy nominee D. Smith, Kokomo City presents 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. 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.
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. This is Smith’s directorial feature film debut.
“As a Black and trans filmmaker, Smith refreshingly creates the space for [her subjects] to be provocative, raw and daringly glamorous in her taboo-breaking work filmed in gleaming black-and-white and edited with a fiery spirit.” – Harper’s Bazaar
“The principal participants … are an electric bunch, and the diversity of their testimonies propels this worthwhile project into refreshing, uninhibited territory.” – The Hollywood Reporter
Kokomo City screens twice: April 26 at 7 PM and April 29 at 1:30 PM. See you at the festival!