Ex-Hollyoaks star delivers Oscar-winning speech using sign language

Ex-Hollyoaks star delivers Oscar-winning speech using sign language

Written by former Hollyoaks actress Rachel Shenton, who also starred in the film, and directed by her fiancé Chris Overton, The Silent Child stars Maisie Sly, a profoundly deaf six-year-old who was just four when producers made a decision to cast her within seconds of her audition. She accepted the award with her fiance and the film's director Chris Overton who also appeared in Hollyoaks. The film focuses on a deaf four-year-old girl named Libby, played by deaf actress Maisie Sly, from Swindon. My hands are shaking a little bit so I apologise. "It's not exaggerated or sensationalized for the movie, this is happening, millions of children all over the world live in silence and face communication barriers, and particularly, access to education". He passed away in 2001, at which time Rachel learned sign language and even qualified as an interpreter.

She's better known by soap fans as Mitzeee Minniver.


As Shenton comments, deafness is an invisible and non-life-threatening disability; consequently, it is often overlooked, leaving many children isolated from the rest of the world. Overton later told BBC 5 live: "When we won I could see her up there jumping up and down and that was surreal".

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She wrote: "I'm absolutely soooooo bloody estastic!"

Rachel's father became deaf for the final two years of his life after undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

"@SilentChildFilm is an inspirational, lovely story, and we send all our love for her very worthy win". She is an ambassador for the National Deaf Children's Society and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2013 in aid of the charity.

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In his acceptance speech, Overton thanked Shenton - his fiancee.

"It's really your hard work for the past twelve years that has really made this project authentic", Chris said.

The couple stood with the Hollywood heavyweights with their film financed, thanks to their parents raising cash by making and selling cupcakes.

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The pair cast Maisie, who had never acted before, after a nationwide search involved advertising on the websites of deaf organisations.

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