Sign language is powerful, and it was featured in a unique and beautiful way at the 2018 Oscars. Learning sign language is what the Oscar-winning short film The Silent Child is all about. The story centers around a four-year-old child named Libby who lives life without communication until a social worker teaches her sign language.
And the film’s writer, Rachel Shenton (who also acted in the short), made sure to sign her speech after winning the 2018 Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.
Shenton has been in the spotlight for quite some time. The 30-year-old British native is best known for playing Mitzeee Minniver in the British teen drama Hollyoaks. Shenton’s character was introduced on the long-running series during the 2010 season. Even though her resume includes a lot of shows overseas, she’s also made a few appearances on American shows. Fans of Switched at Birth may know Shenton best as Lily Summers.
The Telegraph reports that Shenton learned British Sign Language (BSL) after her father lost his hearing when she was a young child, and she’s since felt that there weren’t enough opportunities for adults and child actors within the deaf community.
Shenton accepted the award with her fiancé, Chris Overton, who also starred in Hollyoaks. Overton directed The Silent Child, adding even more passion to the project.
The Silent Child is the first produced film that Shenton has written, and we have a feeling there will be many more in the coming years. And if you haven’t yet seen the short yet, it’s well worth the watch.