CAVERSWALL-BORN actress Rachel Shenton has won a Hollywood Oscar for her short film, The Silent Child, which she wrote and starred in
It tells the story of a profoundly deaf four-year-old, Libby, played by six-year-old rising star Maisie Sly.
The nominated Best Live Action Film film was directed by Rachel’s partner, Chris Overton, and was made in Staffordshire.
Former Channel 4 Hollyoaks star Rachel, 30, drew on her own family experiences in making the 20-minute film.
Her father, Geoff, lost his hearing in the last two years of his life, after being struck with cancer, and this spurred Rachel on to become a champion of the deaf. She is patron of Stoke-on-Trent based charity dDeaflinks, which provides support for deaf people.
Rachel is supporting calls to see sign language taught more widely in schools, so deaf children can feel fully included in learning activities.
“With the right support they [deaf children] can do as well as anyone else,” said Rachel, who began her education at St Filumena’s RC Primary School, in Caverswall.
She then progressed to Painsley Catholic College, in Cheadle, ahead of studying performing arts at the Burslem site of Stoke-on-Trent College.