Born in 1966 in Yaounde, he studied physics at University of Yaounde from 1984 to 1987 and Television production (editing) at Institut National de l'Audiovisuel - INA in Paris where he also studied semiotics under Christian Metz in 1988-1989. In 1992, he garners attention at the Cannes Film Festival and wins several awards with his debut film Quartier Mozart made at the age of 25. He directed several movies which won number of awards, such as Aristotle's Plot, in 1995, which was the African entry in the British Film Institute's series of films commemorating the centenary of cinema, as well as the first African film selected at Sundance ; the avant-garde political thriller Les Saignantes, in 2005, considered to be the first African sci-fi movie ; Le President, in 2013, a fake documentary banned in Cameroon ; the 4 hour documentary Les Choses et Les Mots de Mudimbe, in 2015. Jean-Pierre Bekolo is the General Secretary of the Guilde of African Filmmakers, he is also on the board of FEPACI (Fédération Panafricaine des cinéastes) and a founding member of the World Cinema Alliance e.V. (along with Francesco Maseli assistant of Visconti). He was until Feb.2015 a fellow of the Artists Program at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Berlin. He won the 2015 Prince Claus Award.
Jean-Pierre Bekolo is an avant-garde filmmaker and socio-cultural activist whose imaginative work overturns stereotypes of Africa and African cinema. His entertaining films operate on multiple layers, engaging viewers with thrilling stories, biting humour and dramatic aesthetics. He has been dividing his time between the USA, France, Germany, South Africa and Cameroon.