Actress Maisie Sly gains critical acclaim for "The Silent Child," without saying a word

LONDON -- For 6-year-old Maisie Sly, nothing was more exciting than flying on a plane for the first time -- that is, until Tuesday.

"The Silent Child," the short film Maisie stars in, has made it all the way from the English countryside to Hollywood, where you won't find many starring roles like hers. Maisie was born deaf and can only communicate through sign language.

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6-year-old Maisie Sly

CBS News

When asked what message she hopes to convey with the film, she signs back "that deaf children can do everything."

She gets her confidence from her parents and siblings who were all born deaf. But it's estimated that 90 percent of deaf children have parents who can hear and can't communicate with them. It's that child that Maisie brings to life as the character Libby.

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Anxiously waiting to find out if "The Silent Child" gets nominated for an Oscar

CBS News

"She came into the audition and blew us all away," said Rachel Shenton, who wrote the screenplay.

Shenton's own father lost his hearing, and she plays the social worker that gives Libby a voice through sign.

"I hope we raise awareness for a subject that isn't talked about enough," Shenton said. "I also hope that it shines a much needed light on access to education for deaf children."

Maisie's school has already rolled out the red carpet, and now she's getting ready for the most celebrated one of all. We asked her what she's looking forward to the most at the big awards show, and she said she's "actually excited to have pancakes."

She doesn't say a single word in her breakout performance, but acting is about more than just words.

For more information, go to "The Silent Child" website.