Kino Lorber Picks Up Sundance-Winning Doc 'The Reason I Jump' (Exclusive)

'The Reason I Jump'
Courtesy of Sundance

'The Reason I Jump'

Jerry Rothwell's acclaimed film exploring non-speaking autism has also been picked up for territories including Japan, Germany and France.

Kino Lorber has acquired U.S. rights to Jerry Rothwell's critically acclaimed documentary The Reason I Jump, based on the international best-seller by Naoki Higashida.

The film, which won the world cinema documentary audience award at this year's Sundance Film Festival, was also picked up by Madman (Australia & New Zealand), Kadokawa (Japan), DCM (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), Cherry Pickers (Benelux), Selmer Media (Scandinavia), L'Atelier d’Images (France), Anticipate Pictures (Singapore and Thailand) and Restart (Former Yugoslavia). As previously announced, Picturehouse has taken the U.K./Ireland rights. Release dates are still to be revealed.

London-based MetFilm Sales, headed by Vesna Cudic, is overseeing global sales.

The Reason I Jump is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of people with non-speaking autism from around the world and blends Higashida’s revelatory insights into autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. In its review, The Hollywood Reporter described it as "a supplement, an echo, a response that enriches the experience of the original work."

"It’s a rare film indeed that can draw you into mysterious depths as it captures the clamor of everyday life rushing about," said Kino Lorber president and CEO Richard Lorber. "The Reason I Jump mesmerized us with its empathy and insight into the quiet center of autism. We know our U.S. audiences will embrace it as intimately as the characters portrayed inhabit their own worlds. It amazes as nothing less than a trip to another planet — of inner space."

After winning in Sundance, The Reason I Jump was invited to a number of major festivals including SXSW, CPH:DOX and Hot Docs. The film will next be screened at the Oscar-qualifying AFI Docs (June 17-21). 

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Rothwell, whose previous work includes Sundance 2015 winner How to Change the World, Sour Grapes, Heavy Load and Deep Water, the film is produced by Jeremy Dear (Narcoworld), Stevie Lee (Frank) and Al Morrow (Last Breath). Executive producers are Stewart le Maréchal, Jonny Persey and Peter Webber; Lizzie Francke for the BFI; and Jody Allen, Paul G. Allen, Rocky Collins, Jannat Gargi, Ruth Johnston and Carole Tomko for Vulcan Productions. 

The Reason I Jump is an Ideas Room, MetFilm, Vulcan Productions and Runaway Fridge production and was supported from development through to production by the BFI using funds from the National Lottery.