Magnolia Pictures Acquires Sundance Trans Sex Workers Doc ‘Kokomo City’

Directorial debut of “Love & Hip Hop” star D. Smith offers a candid and unfiltered look at their lives and profession

"Kokomo City" (Magnolia PIctures)

Magnolia Pictures announced on Sunday that it has acquired the worldwide rights to the Sundance documentary “Kokomo City,” which follows four Black trans sex workers in Atlanta and New York and offers a candid and unfiltered look at their lives and profession.

The film is directed, filmed and edited by D. Smith, a cast member on the VH1 reality series “Love & Hip Hop,” who became the first trans woman cast on an primetime unscripted show.

“’Kokomo City’ is a miraculous cinematic debut by D. Smith,” Magnolia Pictures President Eamonn Bowles said. “Hilarious, revelatory, and wildly entertaining, and with a soundtrack for the ages, the film demolishes preconceived notions and announces a major multi-talent to the film world. We can’t wait to bring it to audiences.”

“Before this film, the trans narrative has created barriers that kept us isolated from humanity,” D. Smith said. “My hope is that this film will create a chain reaction of people seeing the full humanity of trans women.”

The film is produced by Smith, Harris Doran and Bill Butler. Executive producers are Lena Waithe, Rishi Rajani, Stacy Barthe and William Melillo.

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia EVP Dori Begley and SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden, with CAA Media Finance on behalf of the filmmakers. Magnolia Head of International Sales Lorna Lee Torres and International Sales Manager Austin Kennedy will introduce the film to buyers at EFM.