Sari Gilman
Sari Gilman, director and producer of "Kings Point"

We’ve all been guilty of glossing over the less glamorous Oscar categories (what is “sound mixing” anyway?). But one short documentary nominated this year is worth voting for on your ballot--and definitely worth seeing.

It’s called Kings Point, and it just so happens to have been directed by Bay Area resident Sari Gilman. The film chronicles the lives of five senior citizens living in a retirement community in Florida. Sound snoozy? That’s what we thought--but we we were captivated in the first few frames.

In just 30 minutes, Gilman gets straight to the heart of the issues confronting the elderly women. In particular, they’re grappling with a fierce determination to remain independent and an ardent desire to find companionship and feel connected. Gilman has a preternatural ability to get these women to open up, perhaps because she is so familiar with their predicament: Her own grandmother lived at Kings Point for 30 years.

This is Gilman’s directorial debut and first Oscar nomination. She says in making Kings Point she wanted to humanize this sect of society that is so often dismissed. By the end of the filmmaking process--which took ten years--she says she began to see herself in these women. We did too.

“Kings Point” is being screened along with the four other Oscar-nominated shorts at Opera Plaza Cinema, 601 Van Ness Ave.; 415-771-0183 or landmarktheatres.com

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