Last fall, in the midst of the pandemic, I acted in a wonderful short film called “Sugar Baby,” written and directed by Belmont University student Kaleb Knight. Knight, whose first film “The Beauty of Daisies,” I also had a small part in, came to me last summer with the part of Mrs. McKee, a tyrannical Vice-Principal whose mission in life is to take control of her school (and overtake her counterpart, the slightly doofy Principal Pete.) When McKee finds out there is an underground candy business operating in the basement of her school, run by two “delinquent” students, she goes berzerk and makes it her prerogative to take their business down. The film, which you can view below, recently won 1st place in a 2021 WTCE-PBS Student Film Festival competition and has been recognized for its innovativeness in terms of storytelling and production despite an international health crisis since its release. I’m proud to say it’s my favorite part to date!


Below is a statement from director Kaleb Knight who I am so proud to call a collaborator and friend.

“A little over a year ago, I wrote the film that I would later call “Sugar Baby.” When the pandemic hit, it forced me to reimagine the story I had in my head. There was even a moment where I contemplated just canceling the production entirely. However, my own commitment to the project and the enthusiasm of my cast and crew inspired me to keep moving forward. My team and I put our heads together to figure out how to approach production safely and tell a fun, heartwarming story. Because of our creative determination as filmmakers, and commitment to safety, we were able to get through production without any incidents and create a truly captivating short film. Winning Best Tennessee Local Film in the WCTE-PBS Student Film Festival was a testament to all the hard work that my cast and crew invested. It was a privilege to be bestowed the award. However, it was even more of a privilege to have led a group of such extraordinary people – an experience that will stick with me for a lifetime.”

Lily Clayton Hansen

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