The Silent Child

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The Silent Child
The Silent Child.jpg
Film poster
Directed byChris Overton
Produced by
  • Rebecca Harris
  • Julie Foy
  • Danny Omerod
Written by
Music by
  • Composed and conducted by

Amir Konjani

Solo clarinet player: Dunja Papric

"Collage" string ensemble

Recorded at

Royal Northern College of Music, Studio No.6

and RNCM concert hall

Mastering and Shadowing technique by

Amir Konjani

CinematographyAli Farahani
Edited byEmily Walder
Slick Films
Release date
8 August 2017 (US)
Running time
20 minutes
LanguageEnglish and British Sign Language

The Silent Child is a British sign-languaged short film written by and starring Rachel Shenton and directed by Chris Overton, and released in 2017 by Slick Films.[1] It tells the story of Libby, a profoundly deaf four-year-old girl, who lives a silent life until a social worker, played by Shenton, teaches her how to communicate through sign language.[2] The film won the Live Action Short Film category at the 90th Academy Awards.[3]


The film was based on Shenton's own experiences as the child of a parent who became deaf. The film features profoundly deaf six-year-old first-time actor Maisie Sly as the titular child.[4][5] British Sign Language (BSL) is used in the film.


  • Rachel Shenton as Joanne, a social worker
  • Maisie Sly as Libby, a profoundly deaf four-year-old girl
  • Rachel Fielding as Sue
  • Philip York as Paul
  • Anna Barry as Nancy
  • Sam Rees as Seb
  • Annie Cusselle as Pip

Awards and nominations[edit]

The Silent Child won best short film at the Rhode Island International Film Festival in August 2017. This made it eligible for entry to the Oscars. In December 2017 the film was selected as one of the final ten films in the Live Action Short Film category for the 90th Academy Awards.[1][2] On 23 January 2018, it was announced that The Silent Child was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for the 90th Academy Awards, which it then won.[3] Shenton kept a promise that she had made to their young lead actress and signed her acceptance speech.[6]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result Ref.
Academy Awards March 4, 2018 Live Action Short Film Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won
Aesthetica Short Film Festival November 12, 2017 People’s Choice Award Chris Overton Won
York Youth Award Chris Overton Won
Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival August, 2017 Award of Recognition: Short Drama Chris Overton Won [7]
Award of Recognition: Actress Under 18 Maisie Sly Won
London Independent Film Awards August, 2017 Best Actress Rachel Shenton Won [8]
Rhode Island International Film Festival August 13, 2017 Best Actress Maisie Sly Won [9][10]
Grand Jury Prize Winner Chris Overton Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "10 Live action shorts advance in 2017 Oscar race". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 11 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b Colin Paterson (20 January 2018). "The Silent Child: From Hollyoaks to Hollywood?". BBC News.
  3. ^ a b "Oscars 2018: The list of nominees in full". BBC News. 23 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Profoundly deaf Maisie Sly is the star of a short film which might be nominated for an Oscar". BBC News. 20 January 2018.
  5. ^ Daniel Angelini (23 January 2018). "Oscar nomination for short film starring Swindon six-year-old Maisie". Swindon Advertiser.
  6. ^ "Deaf British girl's film wins an Oscar". BBC News. 2018-03-05. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  7. ^ "August 2017 Winners". A home for your amazing films. August 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  8. ^ "August 2017 Winners". LIF Awards. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Little Maisie wins best actress award at international film festival". Swindon Advertiser. 16 August 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  10. ^ "2017 RIIFF Awards". 13 August 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2018.

External links[edit]