Joanna Kotkwska was born in 1956 in Warsaw (Poland). She studied visual arts, video, cinema and painting and received a M.F.A. from the Université du Québec à Montréal in 1986. The same year, she founded Color Bar Enr., a production and distribution house. She worked on different productions such as Du Potlatch, l'odeur de l'huile (1986) and Les Cadavres voyagent en Cadillac (1987). She directed Au-dessus du volcan (1985), Solution rouge (1985) and Barbecue (1986).