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Winner: Audience Award, World Documentary – Sundance Film Festival

Winner, Audience Award, International Documentary — Vancouver Intl. Film Festival


Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida's revelatory insights into autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. It opens a window for audiences into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe.


Moments in the lives of each of the characters are linked by the journey of a young Japanese boy through an epic landscape. Throughout it all, narrated passages from Naoki’s writing reflect on what his autism means to him and others, how his perception of the world differs and why he acts in the way he does — the reason he jumps. 


Luminous and exquisitely wrought, this sensitive and empathic multi-portrait offers a highly cinematic portal into a rich human experience that will be new, profound, and illuminating for many. The Reason I Jump beautifully illuminates Naoki’s core message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say.

  • Year
    2020
  • Runtime
    82 minutes
  • Country
    United Kingdom, United States
  • Director
    Jerry Rothwell
  • Cinematographer
    Ruben Woodin Dechamps
  • Editor
    David Charap
  • Composer
    Nainita Desai