Born in 1944 in Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland). He trained and worked as a machinist, then he studied at the Dresden University of Technology, later enrolling at the film school in Babelsberg. From 1970 to 1990 Volker Koepp worked as a director at the DEFA studio for documentary film. Since then, he has been working as a freelance director, writer and producer. He also teaches, both at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and as a visiting professor at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf.