Staffordshire Oscar winner Rachel Shenton speaks about deaf father

By Kirsten Rawlins | Stone | Staffordshire entertainment | Published:

Staffordshire Oscar winner Rachel Shenton has spoken out about her father who inspired her to learn sign language.

Rachel Shenton, left, and Chris Overton, winners of the Oscar award for best live action short for The Silent Child

The former Hollyoaks actor won the best live action award for her drama/short film, The Silent Child, about a profoundly deaf four year old.

Screenwriter Rachel created the film alongside her Cannock fiancee and director of the short, Chris Overton.

When collecting the Oscar alongside Heath Hayes star and former Kingsmead High School pupil Chris, Rachel was widely commended for delivering her speech in sign language.

Speaking to national magazine Grazia, Rachel, aged 30, told of her late father who went deaf two years before he died, when she was 14.

"He's the reason I learned sign language and got involved with the deaf community," said Rachel, of Caverswall, near Stoke.

"He was the person I was thinking of up on stage, wishing so badly he was watching me from the audience. I know he'd be incredibly proud.

"Being at the first post-Weinstein Oscars was amazing.

"It felt like there's a spotlight on diversity. It's really important to remember that disability, including deafness, is diversity."


Shot solely in Staffordshire, The Silent Child is currently being shown in more than 600 cinemas in America.

Chris Overton returned home at the weekend

At the weekend Chris brought his shiny new trophy back home for the first time.

Arriving at Cannock’s Electric Cinema on Sunday to cheers and applause from staff, the unassuming director casually pulled a hooded jumper from his backpack and unrolled it to reveal the 24-carat gold plated statue nestled inside.

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins

Online Entertainment Editor for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. E-mail me, or phone 01902 319368


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