Ex-Hollyoaks star Rachel Shenton wins an Oscar


Rachel Shenton, who wrote the script and her fiancé Chris Overton who directed the film, said that the cupcakes had helped in the last stretch of their fundraising campaign to make The Silent Child.

The 30-year-old actor stars in the short about a child Libby, played by Maisie Sly, who lives a silent life until a social worker (Shenton) teaches her to communicate through sign language.

The British soap stars, best known for playing Mitzeee Minniver and Liam McAllister in the Channel 4 show, fended off competition from short films DeKalb Elementary, The Eleven O'Clock, My Nephew Emmett, Watu Wote/All Of Us at the glittering ceremony.

Earlier in the evening, as she collected the prize and began her acceptance speech, Shenton both said and signed: "I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that if we won, I'd sign this speech, but my hands are shaking". It's not exaggerated or sensationalised 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.

Shenton's choice to sign her speech was not merely an act of sentiment, though.

Maisie herself is deaf, as are her mum and dad, they all use British Sign Language, or BSL.

Despite all of the after show parties going on, Rachel confessed that she can't wait to go home and share the news with the crew that worked on The Silent Child.

She wrote: "I'm absolutely soooooo bloody estastic!" So, deafness is a silent disability. "She always said we'd win". The couple thanked their parents for helping fund the motion picture, and friends and fans who donated via Indiegogo to raise £10,000. "We crowdfunded this all by ourselves and we had the support of so many people, but it was made on a shoestring".