The Reason I JumpJerry Rothwell

13-year-old Japanese teenager Naoki has a special type of autism and does not speak. He still finds a way to communicate, though. Based on his book, this surprising documentary takes you on a fascinating journey in which Naoki and five other people on the spectrum discover what autism means to them.

In his book, Naoki, a funny and charming Japanese boy with autism, gives a unique look into his world. Award-winning director Jerry Rothwell combines the insights that Naoki's book delivers with the lives and experiences of five other people with autism who cannot speak. This cinematographic translation provides an immersion in their special world, an intense sensory place with a lot of beauty. Using a question-and-answer format, the film offers remarkable insights about this specific type of autism. The Reason I Jump shows the journey of a Japanese boy and five others who slowly discover what autism means to them, how it changes their perception of the world and why he behaves the way he does: what is the reason he jumps?

This film is part of...

International selection

International competition for best documentary. The winning film is awarded the Canvas Jury Award and will be longlisted for the Academy Awards.

Health Coming of age

This screening will be preceeded by the short documentary

Radio Felix
Lauranne Van den Heede België 15 min.

Voor Felix, een jongen met autisme, is een eigen radioprogramma een manier om de wereld te begrijpen

(more information about short film)
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Extra info

De vertoning van 29.09 wordt gevolgd door een nagesprek met oa. prof. dr. Ilse Noens (KU Leuven). In samenwerking met LAuRes en Liga Autisme Vlaanderen.


Directed by Jerry Rothwell
2020 82 min.
English, Japanese
Subtitles: English


International selection


Jerry Rothwell

Production company

Ideas Room, MetFilm, Vulcan Productions, Runaway Fridge, BFI


Ruben Woodin Dechamps


David Charap


Nainita Desai

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