The Reason I Jump


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 into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe.






Acutely observed moments in the lives of each of the characters are connected by passages from Naoki’s writing, in which a young Japanese boy journeys through an epic landscape, gradually discovering what his autism means to him, how his perception of the world differs, and why he acts in the way he does: the reason he jumps. The film distills these elements into a sensually rich tapestry that leads us to Naoki’s core message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say.


March 6, 2020: City of Austin Cancels SXSW March Events

The City of Austin has cancelled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions. For More Information.

So excited the SXSW community will have the immersive cinematic experience that is The Reason I Jump!

The Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary was awarded to Jerry Rothwell’s The Reason I Jump.

This is a HUGE moment for NONSPEAKING PEOPLE everywhere! We particularly love film director’s, Jerry Rothwell, comment thanking the young people who are in the film for “reminding him of a different way of being human.” Benjamin McGann and Emma Budway are powerful representatives in this film for ALL nonspeaking, minimally and unreliably speaking people who spell or type to communicate!

Friends since preschool, I-ASC nonspeaking leaders, Ben and Emma communicate with their loved ones via letterboard and type. The community they’ve fostered with one another is a force that sustains them and their families. Not speaking doesn’t mean they have nothing to say.

We were thrilled that Emma Budway, Benjamin McGann and Elizabeth Vosseller attended the Sundance Film Festival for the premiere of The Reason I Jump. The response has been overwhelming and we are so proud to be a part of it. Follow their story here and on Facebook.

Connected through Friendship Blog


Directed by Jerry Rothwell
Produced by Jeremy Dear, Stevie Lee
Produced by Al Morrow

For more information, please see our press release.