Congratulations to director Jerry Rothwell, whose documentary feature The Reason I Jump, with cinematography by Ruben Woodin Dechamps, receives its world premiere at Sundance 2020.

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 distils 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.

Ruben’s last feature documentary, Granny Project, directed by Bálint Révész, won Best Film at the International Leipzig Festival, and documentary short If You Knew directed by Stroma Cairns won Best Short at Open City Documentary Festival earlier this year.

Narrative work includes That Girl and We Love Moses, both directed by Dionne Edwards, the former premiering on C4 as part of the On The Edge season.

Sundance runs from 23 January to 2 February 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.