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Transgender Sundance Film Festival Star, 35, Passes Away

Koko Da Doll, a black transgender woman who appeared in the hit 2023 Sundance Film Festival documentary “Kokomo City,” has died, the festival announced Thursday. Coco, also known as Rasheeda Williams, was shot and killed Tuesday in Atlanta.

“We are saddened to hear of the death of Rasheeda Williams aka Koko Da Doll,” the festival wrote. “We were honored to have her at this year’s festival with Kokomo City, where she reminded black women, ‘We can do anything, be whatever we want to be.’ This is a tragic loss.”

The Atlanta Police Department reported the April 18 shooting as one of three homicides involving a transgender woman this year but did not name her in the tweet. Police wrote that a “person was found shot” at the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW location and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Transgender Sundance Film Festival Star, 35, Passes Away
Transgender Sundance Film Festival Star, 35, Passes Away

“Atlanta Police Department is actively investigating three violent crimes this year involving transgender women,” the department said in the same tweet. “Although these individual incidents are unrelated, we are acutely aware of the epidemic levels of violence that black and brown transgender women face in America.”

A police spokesperson did not immediately return a HuffPost request for an update on the investigation. Koko was prominently featured in “Kokomo City,” which focused on her challenges alongside other black trans sex workers. Candice Frederick of HuffPost wrote that the documentary is “filled with freewheeling, provocative dialogue that you don’t often see in film today.”

Directed by D. Smith, the film won Audience and Next Innovator awards at Sundance and the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.


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