By: Nina Jeffery
Team StarKid, a musical theatre ensemble, began in 2009 when a group of friends from the University of Michigan posted the Harry Potter parody musical, A Very Potter Musical on YouTube. The show became a viral hit and was the first college theatre production to make the Billboard Hot 100. With over 400,000 YouTube subscribers, they continue to delight a dedicated fan base with original productions. Team StarKid’s newest musical, The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals premieres this fall at the Matrix Theatre Company.
After gaining a following from food stunt videos on his channel FoodForLouis, Louis Cole has since been creating daily vlogs focused on lifestyle and travel. His channel recently passed 2 million subscribers and he is now known in the YouTube community as a top travel content creator. Cole received the Festival Honour Award at the Buffer Festival Awards Gala for his vlog Beyond Borders (Chapter 1).
Hannah Snow is a British creator known for her lifestyle and DIY videos. At Buffer Festival, Snow premiered a clip from her new short, Sisters of House Black, with fellow creator Kelsey Ellison.
Jon Cozart is an American musician and comedian with 4.5 million subscribers on YouTube. He is well-known for his After Ever After acapella videos, where he parodies Disney characters through song. Cozart premiered the video Coming Out at Buffer Festival. He won the award for Excellence in Writing at the Awards Gala.
Michael Gregory is the drummer and keyboardist of The Gregory Brothers. The band is renowned for their Songify the News series. At Buffer Festival, Gregory premiered his Girls Just Wanna Have Fun video.
Chantel Houston is a senior producer and cast member for BuzzFeed. She is one of five creators for the YouTube channel LadyLike which focuses on lifestyle videos for women. At Buffer Festival, she premiered the film Whale Hello There.
Shannon Boodram is well-known for being the internet’s relationship expert, making content that focuses on dating and sex education. Her YouTube channel encourages sex-positive conversations. She premiered her music video for Soaring, an empowerment video created with her partner Jared Brady.
Stevie Boebi is a YouTube creator known for her queer-positive content where she gives life advice and speaks about sex and relationships. She premiered her documentary Go Fist Yourself which focuses on misconceptions about sex in the porn industry and in our everyday lives.
Elle Mills is a Canadian YouTube creator who boasts 1.5 million subscribers on her channel ElleOfTheMills. She gained popularity for her Coming Out (Elle Mills Style) video that has over 3.9 million views. She creates vlogs and comedy videos, and premiered her newest video I Turned my Mom’s House Into a Frat at the comedy screening.
Sorelle Amore is an Australian photographer and YouTuber known for her lifestyle and travel videos. Her popular series Advanced Selfies quickly popularized her channel. Her short film Where Are You? premiered at Buffer Festival. The featured creator poses with her partner Leon Hill.
Anna Akana’s comedy and documentary work has garnered over 2 million YouTube subscribers. Recently, she produced and starred in the YouTube Red series Youth and Consequences. She premiered her short film dolor and received the Award for Excellence in Production at the festival Awards Gala.
Zach Ramelan is a Canadian creator known for filmmaking and tech reviews. His short film Blinders premiered at Buffer Festival and highlighted the issue of homelessness in Canada. Ramelan won the Canadian Award of Excellence at the Awards Gala.
Spankie Valentine is renowned for her career as a musical artist and her high-energy short films. Her film Lost in Darkness explores the dark side of the mind and won the award for Excellence in Cinematography at the Awards Gala.
Whitney Avalon is an actress, comedian and musician who is known for her Princess Rap Battle series on YouTube. She premiered her film Don’t Be A, a comedic “kids” show better suited for adult audiences. Avalon won both the Excellence in Music, Sound, & Score and the Excellence in Comedy awards at the Awards Gala.
Stef Sanjati is a Toronto based makeup artist, director and advocate. Her film Bad Words premiered at the festival’s LGBTQ+ screening and explored online culture and the negative effects that a single comment can hold.