Jan was a student at the Arts Décoratifs in Nice, France, (E.P.I.A.R.). He learned cinema, animation and pixillation and passed his diploma in 1988 (Diplôme National Supérieur d'Expression Plastique) while shooting his first super 8mm (soft) and 16mm (YELLOW DEATH - THE BROADWORD) short films, as well as his first animated films for Dutch TV. He became assistant operator, directed his first video clips and documentaries, started as a cameraman/reporter for an image agency.
In 1989, he directed GISELE KEROSENE, "Grand Prix du Court-Métrage" award at the Avoriaz Festival. In 1990, he directed the popular L'AGE DE PLASTIC music video for Elmer Foot Beat. Busy working on several projects (a screen version of a Serge Brussolo novel, the GISELE KEROSENE TV series), Jan also directed his first music videos for Pauline Ester (LE MONDE EST FOU), another Elmer Foot Beat video (DANIELA), videos for Chihuahuas and Erasure (VOULEZ-VOUS, LAY ALL YOUR LOVE ON ME). Jan also directed numerous commercials in France, Germany and UK (Nuts, Peugeot, Tang, Gordon' s Gin, Miko, Adidas...).
In 1991, Jan Kounen wrote VIBROBOY with Carlo of Boutiny and directed it in 1993. ("Prix de la Recherche" award at the Clermont-Ferrand festival). Next was CAPTAIN X an "unfinished" short followed by LE DERNIER CHAPERON ROUGE a musical/short starring Emmanuelle Beart, with a stunning choregraphy by Philippe Découflé and cinematography by Tetsuo Nagata. In 1995, Jan directed his first, controversial, feature film DOBERMANN.
On locations in Mexico and Peru for BLUEBERRY, Jan discovered Shamanism and the Shipibo-Conibos culture, and fell in love with it. He spent several months there filming a feature-length documentary: OTHER WORLDS (2004). He also created a fund raising association: SPIRIT OF THE ANACONDA and a TV series of one hour documentaries: ANOTHER REALITY. BLUEBERRY, his second movie was released in France on February 11th 2004.