Carly Usdin is an award-winning commercial and narrative filmmaker based in Los Angeles, whose work combines heightened imagery with a 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.
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). In 2017 Carly served as showrunner and director for the scripted horror/ comedy anthology series Threads, produced by New Form for Verizon’s go90 platform; in 2019 they directed four episodes of the interactive comedy series Wizard School Dropout for Eko.
Carly has spent years making short-form narrative and commercial content for clients and brands like Funny or Die, CollegeHumor, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, World of Wonder, Paramount, Absolut Vodka, Hasbro, Smashbox, NYX Cosmetics, 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 an alum of Universal’s Directors Initiative, AFI’s DWW+, is 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. Recently 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. Currently they are developing several film and television projects.

Carly Usdin's headshot
Photo by Robin Roemer