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 a sensory universe that guides audiences to Naoki’s core message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say.
Digital conversation with Director Jerry Rothwell and subject David Mitchell; moderated by Anne Thompson, Editor at Large at IndieWire. Closed-captioned and ASL interpreted.
Event panelist bio
Jerry Rothwell, Director
Jerry Rothwell is a filmmaker whose work includes the award-winning feature documentaries: The Reason I Jump, based on the bestselling book by Naoki Higashida; How To Change The World, about the founders of Greenpeace; Sour Grapes (co-directed with Reuben Atlas) a film about a wine counterfeiter Town of Runners, about two girls in an Ethiopian village who aspire to be athletes; Donor Unknown, about a sperm donor and his many offspring; School In The Cloud, about radical educationalist, Sugata Mitra; Heavy Load, about a group of people with learning disabilities who form a punk band, and Deep Water (co-directed with Louise Osmond), about Donald Crowhurst’s ill-fated voyage in the 1968 round the world yacht race. His work has won numerous accolades including two Grierson Awards, a Sundance Special Jury Prize, an RTS Award, the IDA Pare Lorentz Award and a BAFTA nomination.
David Mitchell, Subject, Co-translator of the book
David Mitchell is a best-selling British writer whose novels include Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks. He has been twice shortlisted for The Booker Prize and has received several literary prizes, including The Sunday Times Prize for Literary Excellence. Alongside KA Yoshida, he translated Naoki Higashida’s The Reason I Jump and Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8 from the Japanese. His film work includes Cloud Atlas, Sense8 and The Matrix 4 (all collaborations with the Wachowskis). He lives in Ireland with his wife and their two children.