Based in Paris, France, Serge Bromberg began collecting films as a child. He founded his company Lobster Films in 1985, when he was barely out of his teens, 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, and has deposited thousands of unique original negatives and prints with public-benefit archives in Europe and America, where they are preserved and made available.
Since 1992, Bromberg has travelled the globe to present unique film concerts, “Retour de flame” where he accompanies silent films on piano and provides high-energy personal introductions and insights into the history of the film. To ensure many of the films go even where he cannot, Bromberg organized the web site, www.europafilmtreasures.eu, where hundreds of rare films from many European archives are streamed for the pleasure of anyone who wishes to watch them.
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.
Since 1999 he has been Artistic Director of the International Festival of Animation, a world conclave held annually in Annecy, France. For several years, he 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. 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 won 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 (the French equivalent of the Academy Award) for Best Documentary Feature.
Member of the Board of Directors of the GAN Foundation for Cinema and the AFM-TELETHON Association, he is also on the board of the Cinematheque Francaise. He was awarded by the Los Angeles Film Critics in 2011, received the Jean Mitry prize in Pordenone in 1997 for his lifetime of work in conserving vintage cinema, a lifetime achievement awards in San Francisco and Denver, and the Silver Medallion in Telluride.
Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters in 2002, Bromberg has also become President of ECPAD, the French Ministry of Defense Cinema Unit and Archive in November 2015.