Stepping Forward held a charity showing of The award-winning The Reason I Jump on Sunday 10 October, with a Q&A featuring the Director Jerry Rothwell, Autistic Advisor to the film Emma Dalmayne and Roland Penn-Timity who features in the film with his family in Sierra Leone. Funds raised on the night, including through a raffle, will support the work of the Sierra Leone Autistic Society who are featured in the film. Stepping Forward have been working with the Society for over four years. We are grateful to our speakers and to the wonderful new venue The Reading Biscuit factory for their support and interest in this initiative.
Based on the bestselling 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 descriptions of his 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 journey 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.
The film can be seen at selected cinemas and is also now on DVD. A link to a trailer is below.