In France, where he lives, they call him “the Indiana Jones of lost films.” Serge Bromberg began collecting films as a child and founded Lobster Films in 1985, one of the foremost film preservation company and classic film collections in the world. He produced and directed award-winning films including the legendary Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno (2010). Bromberg is a renown TV host and producer in France and was director of the Annecy Animation Film Festival for 15 years.
A member of the board of the Cinematheque Française and Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters, Bromberg became President of ECPAD (the French Ministry of Defense Film production department) in 2015. He was awarded by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association in 2011; received the Jean Mitry prize in Pordenone in 1997 for his lifetime of work in conserving vintage cinema; earned a lifetime achievement award in San Francisco and Denver; and received the Silver Medallion in Telluride.
But most of all, Bromberg loves to share the latest and most thrilling film discoveries with the general audience. Since 1992, Bromberg has travelled the globe (including the TCM Classic Film Festival, of course) to present unique film concerts, “Retour de flamme,” where he accompanies silent films on piano and provides high-energy personal introductions and insights into the history of film.
Based in Paris, France, Serge Bromberg founded his company Lobster Films in 1985 with the hope of collecting, preserving and sharing rare film treasures. Today, the Lobster Films collection comprises some hundred thousand reels collected by Bromberg and his colleague Eric Lange, including thousands of unique original negatives and prints deposited with public-benefit archives in Europe and America, where they are preserved and made available.
He has been artistic director of the International Festival of Animation for 15 years. He has also produced and hosted a very popular daily children’s television show called Cellulo on public TV France 5, breeding a new generation of cinephiles with the delightful short films he displayed. With the profit from this venture, he mostly invested in first-class 35mm preservation of unique films.
As the result of getting trapped in a stuck elevator with the widow of director Henri-Georges Clouzot, Bromberg received the opportunity of working the unedited footage from Clouzot’s unfinished film Inferno (2009) into a provocative new docudrama. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, winning ecstatic reviews and a 2010 César Award (the French equivalent of the Academy Award) for Best Documentary Feature.
Bromberg has co-produced several award-winning DVD sets including Georges Méliés, First Wizard of Cinema, which includes 200 films (all of Méliés’ surviving work); Chaplin at Keystone: An International Collaboration, including eye-opening restorations of all the comedian’s surviving work from his first year in movies; and the previously-lost BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT (1926) directed by King Vidor and starring John Gilbert.