On June 4, 2017, we lost a foundational member of our festival family and a very dear friend, Lars Kelto, to a sudden and unexpected cardiac event. Lars was a true Renaissance man who was an essential part of the Traverse City community. At the film festival, State and Bijou, he made the magic happen with technology, creativity, intelligence and ingenuity, from crawling through the basement of the State to set up the first TCFF box office, to masterminding and directing a worldwide screening of Michael Moore’s new film. He was our shorts programmer, and he was a brilliant filmmaker who created the short films and load in animations at the film festival.

He sang, danced, played piano and saxophone, and acted, starring in several productions at the Old Town Playhouse, most recently as Sir Robin in “Spamalot.”

He was the technology director at TAAR and TEDxTC and he volunteered to help so many other nonprofits in our area. And he enjoyed creating and running the very popular Tuesday night trivia at Rare Bird, where he often won with his team, the Home School Dropouts.

His creativity, intelligence, and passion were far-reaching and deeply felt. 

He leaves a wife and two young daughters whom he loved fiercely, and an extended circle of devoted family and friends. In every way, he is impossible to replace. Please support the family using the link below to donate using a credit card or Paypal. 100% of the proceeds will be donated directly to the Kelto family.