Born in Lisbon (Portugal) in 1943, at the age of 19 he moved to Paris where he studied at the Film School and later graduated in Art History at the Sorbonne. In 1970 he began to work as a cameraman’s assistant alongside Pierre Lhomme, Claude Renoir or Jean-François Robin in films by Ariane Mnouchkine, Alain Cavalier, Colin Serreau or Patrice Leconte. His friendship with the latter, who he worked with for the first time on Les Bronzés, in 1978, has meant that Serra has been the director of photography on ten of his films. In the nearly twenty-five years that have gone by since he became a director of photography in 1980, Serra has lit almost fifty films. He has regularly collaborated with Claude Chabrol, for whom he has worked with on four films, including his last two: La Fleur du mal (The Flower of Evil) and La Demoiselle d’honneur (The Bridesmaid), and his field of activity has not been restricted to Portugal, his native land where he has shot with Fernando Lopes, Luis Felipe Rocha, Joao Mario Grillo or José Fonseca Costa, (among others), or to France, his adopted country. In 1993 he worked with Vincent Ward, on Map of the Human Heart, shot in the frozen deserts of the Arctic and five years later, he created a world of colours and dreams for him in What Dreams May Come. He investigated the light in the faintly lit interiors in Benôit Barbier’s L’amour conjugal, and especially created a light that “explains” the characters in Michael Winterbottom’s Jude, 1996. With The Wings of the Dove by Iain Softley, 1997, he was nominated for an Oscar for the first time. Interested in investigating light, he doesn’t hesitate to work with directors making their film debuts if the project enables him to experiment, as was the case in Peter Webber’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, for which he won the Award for Best Photography at the San Sebastián Festival last year, and was also nominated for an Oscar for the second time. His most recent work includes Unbreakable (2000), by M. Night Shyamalan and Kevin Spacey’s Beyond the Sea, 2004.