Kentucker Audley: Breakout Actor-Director, Tireless Supporter of Indie Film

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Photo by Austin McAllister


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Kentucker Audley

Breakout Actor-Director, Tireless Supporter of Indie Film

The New York film industry—one of the last cultural industries still centralized in Manhattan—is shifting across the East River. Actor and director Kentucker Audley’s move from Memphis to Ditmas Park just short of a year ago to “pursue acting in a more deliberate way” marks a vital addition to the borough’s still-emerging scene. As an increasingly prevalent player in small-budget American film, affirmed by his costarring role in 2012’s Sun Don’t Shine—Indiewire named it the best undistributed film that year, in no small part to his subtle, seething performance—there’s a sense among ears-to-the-ground critics that he’s on the brink of joining pals Lena Dunham and Sun director Amy Seimetz as an indie-world breakout. His latest turns in David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, alongside Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, and horror auteur Ti West’s The Sacrament will certainly help the cause.

He represents what makes the jump eastward so alluring. At his core, he’s a fan, on a mission to promote under-appreciated projects by young filmmakers and cultivate a supportive community in Brooklyn. His labor of love, NoBudge.com, is a worthy alternative, or companion, to the industry-plus-Paris-Hilton gathering known as Sundance in January. “What I’m trying to do with [the site] is be another voice in the crowd, one that’s honing in on the types of films Sundance doesn’t normally accept,” says Audley. Not unlike the first wave of music blogs, the website curates limited-run screenings—or streams, in this case—in an attempt to find undistributed projects an audience. “Like films made by 25-year-old kids who have interesting things to say but aren’t fully formed for the marketplace,” he says. “I don’t respond well to films that go by the book.”