Jean-Paul Salomé decided to become a film director from the age of eleven, but it was not until he passed his Baccalauréat high school diploma in the scientific section and studied film at the Sorbonne Censier University that he entered the film industry, first working as a trainee for director Claude Lelouch, who hired him during the production of his film Bolero.
He went on to direct two documentaries, L'Heure d’aimer in 1983 and La Petite Commission in 1984, both of which were selected at numerous film festivals. After making his first feature-length film for television, he directed the feature film Les Braqueuses in 1993.
Five years later, he directed Tourist Trap, which tells the story of a group of tourists who get lost in the middle of nowhere in the United States. In 2000, he directed a new cinematic adaptation of the myth of Belphegor, Belphegor, Phantom of the Louvre. In 2004, he directed an updated adaptation of the iconic tale of the gentleman thief, Arsène Lupin, followed, in 2007, by Female Agents. The Chameleon, which was shot in the United States, was released in 2010. His most recent feature, Playing Dead was released in December 2013.
Jean-Paul Salomé served as president of the ARP (the French Authors', Directors', and Producers' Guild) from 2007 to 2009, and was re-elected to the position from 2011 to July 2012.
He was elected president of UniFrance on January 31, 2013.