The Silent Child

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 Oscar for Live Action Short Film at the 90th Academy Awards.[3] The film's television debut was on BBC One to an audience of 3.6 million[4], the film then received an extended period on BBC iPlayer.

The Silent Child
Film poster
Directed byChris Overton
Produced by
Written by
Starring
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
Production
company
Slick Films
Release date
8 August 2017 (US)
Running time
20 minutes
CountryUK
LanguageEnglish and British Sign Language

Premise

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.[5][6] British Sign Language (BSL) is used in the film.

Cast

  • 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

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. 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. Shenton kept a promise that she had made to their young lead actress and signed her acceptance speech.[7]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result
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
Aesthetica Short Film Festival November 12, 2017 Youth Jury Award Chris Overton Won
Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival August, 2017 Award of Recognition: Short Drama Chris Overton Won
Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival August, 2017 Award of Recognition: Actress Under 18 Maisie Sly Won
London Independent Film Awards August, 2017 Best Actress Rachel Shenton Won
Rhode Island International Film Festival August 13, 2017 Best Actress Maisie Sly Won
Rhode Island International Film Festival August 13, 2017 Grand Jury Prize Winner Chris Overton Won
Encounters International Film Festival 2017 Audience Choice Award Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won
American Short Film Awards 2017 Best Short Film of the Year Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won
Gold Movie Awards 2017 Film of the Year Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won
Gold Movie Awards 2017 Film of the Month Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won
Gold Movie Awards 2017 Best Short Film Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won
Lift-Off Film Festival, Season Awards 2017 Best Acting Ensemble The entire cast. Won
New Renaissance Film Festival 2017 Humanity Award Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won
New Renaissance Film Festival 2017 Best Cinematography Ali Farahani Won
New Renaissance Film Festival 2017 Best Director Chris Overton Nominated
New Renaissance Film Festival 2017 Best Director Rachel Shenton Nominated
Sydney Indie Film Festival 2017 Best Film Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won
Sydney Indie Film Festival 2017 Best Cinematography Ali Farahani Nominated
Sydney Indie Film Festival 2017 Best Actress Rachel Shenton Nominated
Southampton International Film Festival 2017 Best Short Screenplay Rachel Shenton Nominated
Southampton International Film Festival 2017 Best Short Film Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Nominated
Southampton International Film Festival 2017 Best Actress Rachel Shenton Nominated
Southampton International Film Festival 2017 Best Supporting Actress Maisy Sly Nominated
Overcome Film Festival 2017 Best Actress Rachel Shenton Won
Overcome Film Festival 2017 Best International Short Film Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won
Riverbend Film Festival 2018 Best Actress Rachel Shenton Won
Riverbend Film Festival 2018 Best Director Chris Overton Won
Savannah Film Festival 2017 Best Narrative Short Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won
The Short Film Awards 2017 Best Narrative Short Film Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won
The Short Film Awards 2017 Best Editing Emily Walder Won
London Independent Film Festival 2017 Grand Jury Prize Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton Won

Festivals Selections

Film Festival Notes
Rhode Island International Film Festival Official Selection
Aesthetica Short Film Festival Official Selection
Encounters International Film Festival Official Selection
Savannah Film Festival Official Selection
Foyle International Film Festival Official Selection
Heartland International Film Festival Official Selection
London Short Film Festival Official Selection
London Independent Film Festival Official Selection
HollyShorts International Film Festival Official Selection
Sydney Indie Film Festival Official Selection
Kerry Short Film Festival Official Selection
Underwire International Film Festival Official Selection
New Renaissance International Film Festival Official Selection
Bolton International Film Festival Official Selection
London Lift-Off Film Festival Official Selection
Hollywood International Moving Picture Film Festival Official Selection
Southampton International Film Festival Official Selection
Overcome Film Festival Official Selection
Riverbend Film Festival Official Selection
Gold Movie Awards Official Selection
The Short Film Awards Official Selection
American Short Film Awards Official Selection

See also

References

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