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Oscars 2018: Ex-Hollyoaks star uses sign language in acceptance speech

07 March 2018

She also wrote, produced and starred in the film. 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.

"I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that I'd sign this speech and my hands are shaking a little so I apologise", she began.

Standing alongside fiance Chris Overton, Rachel then told the crowd: "Our movie is about a deaf child being born into a world of silence". Overton later told BBC 5 live: "When we won I could see her up there jumping up and down and that was surreal".

Rachel actually delivered her acceptance speech in sign language, and apologized for it being a bit shaky.

Admitting the win still hadn't sunk in, she added: "We were being serious when we were saying we're so honoured to be nominated, we really, really meant it".

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As she accepted her award, Frances took the moment to celebrate women who were nominated, and in a bold statement in the midst of the Time's Up movement, invited all female nominees to stand in solidarity with her during her speech.

Rachel's father became deaf for the final two years of his life after undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. She is an ambassador for the National Deaf Children's Society and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2013 in aid of the charity.

It's great that The Silent Child has helped draw people's attention to deafness, which is the third biggest disability in the world according to the British Deaf Association.

The couple stood with the Hollywood heavyweights with their film financed, thanks to their parents raising cash by making and selling cupcakes. He said: "It's really your hard work for the last 12 years that has really made this project authentic".

Maisie's family had recently relocated 160 miles from Plymouth to Swindon so Maisie could attend a mainstream school where deaf children are supported.

Oscars 2018: Ex-Hollyoaks star uses sign language in acceptance speech