Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton’s poignant drama The Silent Child is nominated for Best Short Film (Live Action) at the prestigious 90th Academy Awards. The film received the People’s Choice and York Youth Awards at Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2017, and follows the journey of a profoundly deaf four year old girl, Libby, who is born into a hearing family. She lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker gives her the gift of communication through sign language.
The Oscar nomination acknowledges the importance of opening up dialogues about issues of accessibility, both in schools and the wider consciousness. As Shenton notes: “The film is about deafness and access to education for deaf children. I believe change needs to happen at grass roots level and by educating the next generation, misconceptions surrounding deafness will one day be eradicated.”
Demonstrating the ASFF’s lasting legacy and commitment to talent development, the nomination follows a win from alumni in the same category in 2016. Taking Best Drama, Benjamin Cleary’s highly affecting Stutterer, received the award two years ago. The short is also centred around notions of social contact, telling the story of a typographer with a debilitating speech problem.
BAFTA-recognised ASFF 2018 is now open for entries, supporting both establishing and emerging practitioners and championing innovative filmmaking. New for this year, we’re accepting submissions for Narrative and Documentary feature-length films and VR works. Submit your film: www.asff.co.uk.
The 2018 Oscars awards ceremony takes place on 4 March. Find out more: www.oscars.org.
1. Trailer for The Silent Child. Courtesy of Vimeo.