Idrissa Ouedraogo was born on 21 January 1954 in Banfora, Burkina Faso, Ouedraogo graduated from Institut Africain d’education Cinématographique de Ouagadougou (L’INAFEC). In 1981, his film Poko was awarded the best short film prize in the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO).
He finished studying in Kiev in the Soviet Union and moved to Paris as he received his diploma in cinema studies from the Sorbonne as he graduated from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques (IDHEC) in 1985, he directed a number of TV series and jointly worked with 10 directors in the film 11 September. He worked in the film Stories on Human Rights in 2008 among a number of filmmakers. Ouedraogo was chosen to be a jury member in various renowned festivals around the world such as Tokyo, Venice, Amiens and Khouribga.
In 1989, his film Yabaa shared the FIPRESCI award with Steven Soderbergh’s film Sex, Lies and Videotape, also his film Tillai won the jury award in Cannes Film Festival in 1990 and best film award from FESPACO in 1991, nevertheless, his film Samaba Traore was awarded the Silver Bear from Berlin Film Festival in 1992.