Carly Usdin is an award-winning commercial and narrative filmmaker based in Los Angeles, whose work combines heightened imagery with an absurdist comedic sensibility, all through a queer, trans lens. Their first feature, Suicide Kale, won Audience Awards at Outfest (Best First Feature) and NewFest (Best Narrative Feature) and is available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Kanopy. Their short film Misdirection played over 60 festivals worldwide, winning Best Director at the LA Diversity Film Festival and Best Comedy Short at NewFilmmakers LA. In 2020 they were selected as one of three filmmakers for Hello Sunshine’s branded “Meet Cute” series, writing and directing a queer romantic comedy called First Date.
In 2023 Carly served as showrunner and director for the groundbreaking half-hour variety/sketch comedy series The Syd + TP Show, which follows World Champions and bench-warming besties Sydney Colson and Theresa Plaisance as they attempt to become the faces of the WNBA. Produced by TOGETHXR for Ryan Reynold’s Maximum Effort Channel, in partnership with Fubo and Fubo Sports, the show quickly earned “primed-to-be cult classic” status from queer publication Autostraddle and was named one of Paste Magazine's "6 Streaming Comedies You Might Have Missed in 2023."
Carly has spent years making short-form narrative and commercial content for clients and brands like Funny or Die, CollegeHumor, Entertainment Weekly, World of Wonder, Paramount, Absolut Vodka, Hasbro, Google and YouTube. Most notably, they directed the third season of Awkwafina’s digital series Tawk, and their campaigns for RuPaul’s Drag Race have won a One Show Pencil and multiple Promax BDA Awards. Carly is also the creator and writer of two comic book series for BOOM! Studios: Heavy Vinyl (nominated for a 2018 Prism award) and The Avant-Guards (nominated for a 2020 GLAAD Award).
Carly is an alum of Universal’s Directors Initiative, AFI’s DWW+, Women in Film's Directing Fellowship, was a semi-finalist for the 2022 Commercial Directors Diversity Program and a member of the inaugural class of Goodby Silverstein & Partners’ artist-in-residence program, RESIDENCE. Currently they are developing several film and television projects.