EX-Annecy Director Serge Bromberg Faces Prison For Film Reel Fire – KristenBellTattoos.com

Serge Bromberg, the former artistic director of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, is facing four years in prison for his role in a fatal fire involving reels of nitrate film.

The case, which was heard this week at the courthouse in Creteil, a suburb of Paris, relates to a tragic fire in August 2020, when reels of nitrate film were stored in the basement of an eight-storey apartment block in the suburbs of Paris. I was doing. burst into flames during a heat wave.

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One person, who lived directly above the scene of the fire, was burned alive while another died when he tried to jump to safety from the fourth floor. The building was relatively empty at the time as it was the height of the summer holidays.

Bromberg, who was tried for involuntary mansl*ughter and wounding as well as endangering others, accepted full responsibility for the tragedy at trial.

“I would like to say that I am solely responsible for this drama. It is my fault and especially my fault,” Bromberg told the court, according to local media. “I am unforgivable and I hardly dare to ask for forgiveness.”

Bromberg was artistic director of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival from 1999 to 2012, but after stepping down from that role he devoted himself to restoring and distributing vintage films under the Lobster Films banner, which he founded in 1985. was made

He is a respected figure in the film revival and classic film festival scene. Paris-based Lobster Films, jointly run with Eric Lange, employs a team of about 25 people and has a library of 50,000 vintage films, including more than 210,00 reels of film. .

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Bromberg had stocked Lobster films, along with his personal film reels, in a storage space under a building in the Vincennes area on the eastern edge of Paris, without permission, prosecutor Massiva Chermak-Felonio said.

Reels of old nitrate film are notoriously flammable and must be stored somewhere under refrigerated conditions. Nitrate film reels are difficult to extinguish and emit highly toxic gases. As an experienced film restorer, Bromberg was aware of the dangers of nitrate film reels, Chermak-Felonneau said.

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Air conditioning in Bromberg’s storage space was cut off in 1998 after neighbors complained about the noise, she said. He added that the place was not equipped with a fire alarm and the firewall was breached soon after the fire broke out.

Investigators estimate that between 1,364 and 1,953 rails were being stored in the space at the time of the fire. Bromberg told the trial that there were exactly 965 reels.

He said the site was used as a holding place for a few reels destined for France’s National Cinema Center (CNC), to be restored and preserved under cinema conservation programs. But there was a delay in handing it over.

The prosecutor asked why Bromberg didn’t think to store the reels in a more remote location and said the fire and tragic d*aths were caused entirely by not following the rules surrounding the storage of old film reels.

Under the French court process, he requested a four-year sentence, three of them suspended, and a $150,000 (€150,000) fine for Lobster Films.

A judge will make a final decision on sentencing in January 2023.

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