Rachel Shenton has dedicated her Academy Award win to her late father.

The 30-year-old former 'Hollyoaks' actress recently won a coveted golden statuette for her short movie 'The Silent Child' - which she wrote and starred in with her partner Chris Overton, who produced the picture.

Rachel has now revealed it was because of her late dad that her eyes were open to the deaf community which is the focus of her film.

When she was 12, her father Geoff contracted throat cancer and the chemotherapy affected his ears and hearing and he slowly went death and tragically two years later, he passed away when she was learning sign language.

Speaking to the Daily Mail newspaper, Rachel said: ''It was the first time I'd ever seen my dad vulnerable. You couldn't just shout to him from another room. Going out for dinner became impossible for him because of all the competing voices.

''He could speak, so he'd say, 'I don't know what you're saying', and we would gather around him as a family so he could see our lips.

''But it was hard for him to adjust. He was just getting around to the idea of using sign language when he died. Thanks to me dad, my eyes were open to this world. He is always on my mind and I feel incredibly proud that I have done this because of him.''

Her first movie - which is currently being written into a feature length movie by Rachel - follows a deaf four-year-old girl named Libby (Maisie Sly) who lives in a world of silence until a social worker Joanna (Rachel) starts to teach her how to use sign language to communicate.

While accepting her award at the prestigious ceremony this month, the actress gave her speech in sign language as it was a promise she made with the young star of the picture.

She said: ''Every time we thought about preparing one, we felt weird in case it didn't go our way.

''But I promised Maisie I'd do it in sign language if we won - and as Chris and I were going to be up on stage, I wanted her to be looking at us, not her interpreter.''