Sundance Film Festival: Audience Award, World Cinema Documentary
Denver Film Festival: Maysles Brothers Award


AFI Docs, Chicago International Film Festival, DOC NYC





Available for streaming January 8


Each stream is $12 and will be available for purchase January 8th at 8:00 am MT. After purchasing you’ll have 7 days to start watching. Once you begin, you’ll have 24 hours to finish watching.



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; 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. 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.

Following the film, there will be a pre-recorded Q&A featuring Ascendigo Autism Services President & CEO Peter Bell, and Aspen Film’s Executive + Artistic Director, Susan Wrubel.

As an advocate and father of a young man with autism, Peter has been a highly effective leader and a powerful voice within the autism community. Prior to becoming the President and CEO of Ascendigo in May 2017, Peter and his wife Liz served on Ascendigo’s Board of Directors. Most recently he served as President and CEO of Eden Autism based in Princeton, New Jersey. Prior to Eden, he was executive vice president for Autism Speaks where he championed several public policy changes and established the family services division. From 2004 to 2007, he served as President and CEO of Cure Autism Now, one of the country’s first autism advocacy organizations to focus on the science of autism. There he championed the passage of the federal Combating Autism Act of 2006 and 2011, launched autism insurance reform that led to the passage of mandates in over 35 states, and established the Autism Treatment Network (ATN).


Peter’s career also includes a White House appointment to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Barack Obama, founding and chairing the Consumer Advisory Committee of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), and serving as the Vice-Chair of the Autism Research Program for the Department of Defense. In 2014, Peter received the INSAR Advocate Award for his commitment to research, advocacy, and services for people with autism spectrum disorders.


Peter earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS in Hotel Administration at Cornell University. He and his wife Liz have three children.


“Our vision at Ascendigo is to build upon a proven model that allows individuals with autism to thrive, reaching their potential within the communities where they live, work and play, regardless of their challenges.”

This is a wondrous work… that enlightens and informs but that is also ravishing to behold.


– Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter

A profound and moving experience.


– Matt Cipolla, The Film Stage

Exquisite. THE REASON I JUMP will change how you think.


– Fionnuala Halligan, Screen Daily

An inventive, sensuous documentary worthy of its source. This compassionate, creative documentary will open ears and eyes in equal measure. As emotionally piercing as it is beautiful to behold.


– Guy Lodge, Variety