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Former Annecy Creative Director Serge Bromberg Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter

The Lobster Films founder faces up to four years in prison after negligent film storage practices led to a fire in a residential building that killed two people.

Former Annecy International Animation Festival Creative Director Serge Bromberg is facing a sentence of up to four years on a charge of involuntary manslaughter following a fire at one of his Lobster Films storage facilities that killed two people.

Bromberg faced charges last week at the Court of Creteil in France for the tragic August 2020 fire, which occurred due to the illegal storage in a residential building of highly flammable nitrate film without proper security. The unstable film burst into flame during a heatwave, causing one person to burn alive while another fell to their death attempting to evade the flames.

During the proceedings, Bromberg allegedly stated, “I am solely responsible for this tragedy. I am unforgivable. I hardly dare ask for an apology.” Prosecutor Missiva Chermak-Felonneau is aiming for a four-year sentence with a three-year suspension and a $150,000 fine for Lobster Films, claiming Blomberg was indeed aware of the dangerous storage techniques utilized.

Bromberg sent word to AWN that he cannot speak of the cast until January 24.

He left Annecy in 2012 to devote full time to Lobster, which he founded in 1985, and has grown from a solo passion project to a team of 25 people who restore vintage films. Ironically, Bromberg hosted Retour de flamme (Bouncing Flame), a show which references the flammable nature of the nitrate reels the company restores and warehouses. Just last month, AWN published a piece highlighting Bromberg’s preservation work at Lobster Films, unaware of the company’s role in the 2020 fire.

Laurén Alexa's picture

Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.