You need to watch this clip of six-year-old Maisie Sly reuniting with her dad after her Oscars triumph – but be warned: your heart may melt.
Maisie stars in British short film The Silent Child, which just won an Academy Award. It tells the story of a girl who is profoundly deaf and lives her life in silence until a social worker teaches her how to use British Sign Language, opening up her world.
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Although she didn’t go up on stage, Maisie – who is herself deaf – walked the red carpet with ex-Hollyoaks actress Rachel Shenton, who wrote and starred in the film, and director Chris Overton. Her mum accompanied her as a plus one. Poor dad was left at home.
But when she returned to the family’s apartment after an exciting night, Maisie wanted one thing: a very long hug from her dad.
Her dad pulled her away for long enough to sign to her: “I’m proud of you,” before Maisie returned to the hug. He then asked “Did you enjoy yourself?”
The answer was an emphatic yes.
Earlier in the evening, as she collected the prize and began her acceptance speech, Shenton both said and signed: “I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that if we won, I’d sign this speech, but my hands are shaking.”
“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.
“So, 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 yous to the Academy for allowing us to put this in front of a mainstream audience.”