Jan Kounen was born on May 2, 1964 in Netherlands. He is a Dutch-born film producer of the French Cinema. He pushed forward his career in the early 90’s when he got a chance to collaborate with the pop duo, Erasure. He produced and directed four music videos including three for the Abba-Esque collection. The highpoint in his career as a professional director arrived when he directed the French film 'Dobermann' in 1997. It was the first movie directed by him and was an adaptation of a French crime novel by Joël Houssin. After directing his first gangster flick Doberman in 1997, he came up with another outstanding documentary Other Worlds in 2004. While directing this film, he spent a lot of time in Amazon rainforests with the Shamans in order to understand the therapeutic properties of Ayahuasca.
Ayahuasca is a traditional herbal and medicinal drink used by the Shamans, a tribe living in Amazon rainforests. This film by Jan Kounen portrays the Shamanic tradition and their cultural practices. Other worlds won the Grand Prix Documentary in the 2004 edition of the Festival Mondial held in Brazil. During the same year, Kounen directed another movie 'Blueberry' also known as Renegade, an adaptation of a comic book series. This movie accurately portrays the metaphysical experiences of a man and casts a light on the popular Shaman culture. Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky was his next movie in 2009, the film, which was inspired by the Chris Greenhalgh’s novel ‘’Coco and Igor’’ was showcased at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Its critical reception was mixed.
He also wrote a book entitled ‘’ Visionary Ayahuasca’’ and also co-authored another book entitled ‘’ The Psychotropic Mind’’. It shows his interest in Shamanism and their culture. He directed a documentary Vape Wave in 2015 and also wrote a letter to Mark Zuckerberg asking him for permission to promote this anti-tobacco movie on Facebook.
He selects very different and unique subjects for his movies. His movies Other Worlds and Blueberry garnered a very good response from the audience. He is an eminent filmmaker who has directed many movies and documentaries and has enjoyed every bit of success.