you can deny gravity
by refusing to accept that it will affect you
by taking steps to ensure it doesn't
Thirty million older Americans fall every year,
one every second of every day.
Falls injure 7 million and kill 27 thousand
people in this country each year.
Falls herald the end of independence,
which also means the end of optimal quality of life,
unbearable expense and
family disruption for millions of older people.
Fall related injuries cost Medicare more than
31 billion dollars a year.
The cost in pain and misery is impossible to overstate.
Falls are preventable. Education is essential
In 2018, in St. Petersburg, Florida, a local playwright,
a first-time director and a group of senior actors
took a bold step to make a difference
in this public health crisis.
The play Denying Gravity was created and performances were scheduled.
The first three events each drew an audience of more than 500 attendees.
It is the story of a woman, her family and friends.
It is the story of falls and their aftermath.
The reaction to and impact of the Denying Gravity play
was unprecedented and indicates that strong storytelling
is an ideal way to reach people
with this life-saving message.
On September 22, the Thriving In Place project’s
3-camera crew recorded the performance of the play
at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg
in front of a live audience.
We are now producing
a feature-length documentary
about the play, its creation
and its important messages.
We are telling the compelling story
of the creation of the play
and what drives the people who present it,
through interviews with the cast, author
and community stakeholders,
all interwoven with scenes from Denying Gravity
to provide concrete fall prevention actions.
Why is this needed?
Because Denying Gravity reduced calls related to falls
by 17% in the communities where it was performed,
according to Pinellas County Emergency Services.
Calls for falls REDUCED
Following presentation of the play
Fall prevention education is challenging.
When you find a tool that works,
you want to put it in as many hands as possible.
Demand for the film is already high.
The Denying Gravity documentary will be
distributed through a series of screening events
in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and neighboring counties,
then throughout Florida, and on to
a national audience via
national public television
and digital programming services.
A special version for looped play
will be created for use by
doctors offices, physical therapists, occupational therapists,
home care service providers, assisted living facilities,
hospital waiting rooms, first responders
and a range of facilities & service providers.
Falls are a public health crisis.
Education is the key to their prevention.
The Denying Gravity documentary presents
a unique opportunity: to use
strong storytelling to engage people
in an effective manner and to
help change attitudes, practices and collective actions.