Devon can make claim to a little bit of Hollywood today after two of the county’s stars won Oscars at the 2018 Academy Awards. A film starring a profoundly-deaf Plymouth girl was the first local winner to be revealed.
Maisie Sly made her acting debut in The Silent Child playing a deaf girl born into a middle-class family and living in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication. The Silent Child is just one of five live-action short films to make the cut.
“I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that I would sign this speech,” Shenton said while accepting the statuette at the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood.
“My hands are shaking a little bit so I apologise,” she added.
While signing, she continued: “Our movie is about a deaf child being born into a world of silence. It’s not exaggerated or sensationalised for the movie.
‘This is happening. Millions of children all over the world live in silence and face communication barriers, and particularly access to education.
‘Deafness is a silent disability. You can’t see it and it’s not life threatening so I want to say the biggest of thank you’s to the Academy for allowing us to put this in front of a mainstream audience.”
Speaking earlier, Maisie’s father Gilson said he couldn’t be prouder of his daughter’s achievement. “Maisie is representing a whole deaf community on the screen, we as a family are a part of that community and can’t express how proud we are of Maisie.
‘It will be incredible to get into the nominations list, that would be amazing that the film and its message will be huge.”
Gilson and Elizabeth left their hometown of Plymouth for Swindon five years ago to enable Maisie and her two siblings to go to a specialist school there.
“Obviously it was a huge wrench to be leaving behind our family and friends,” Gilson said. Later on in the evening Torquay’s Roger Deakins finally won an Oscar for cinematography. Deakins won the award fo
r his work on the sci-fi epic Blade Runner 20149.
It follows an amazing 14 nominations in a career that’s spanned over 40 years. He’s helped make films su
ch as The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, No Country For Old Men, Skyfall, and Sicario.