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A film starring a six-year-old deaf British girl and made by two former Hollyoaks stars has won an Oscar.

The Silent Child, which tells the story of a girl who struggles to communicate, was named best live action short film.

It stars Maisie Sly, aged six, from Swindon, and Rachel Shenton, who played Mitzeee Minniver in the Channel 4 soap.

Shenton also wrote it and used sign language in her acceptance speech. It was directed by Chris Overton.

“I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that I would sign this speech,” Shenton said while accepting the statuette at Sunday’s ceremony in Hollywood.


“My hands are shaking a little bit so I apologise,” she added.

Maisie didn’t go up on stage to collect the award, but Overton told BBC 5 live: “When we won I could see her up there jumping up and down and that was surreal.

“But I think she’s taken it all in her stride. She always said we’d win.”

Shenton added: “She held the Oscar, she said it was very heavy, she had her photograph taken with it and then said she wanted to go back and see her brothers and sisters, so she’s keeping it real.”

The Silent Child tells the story of a profoundly deaf four-year-old called Libby, played by Maisie. She lives a silent life until a social worker, played by Shenton, teaches her how to communicate through sign language.



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