Joakim Demmer was born in Stockholm in 1965. He studied photography and worked as a self-employed cameraman in Stockholm, Prague and London from 1989 on. In 1991, he moved back to Stockholm, where he was working as TV cameraman and editor. He moved to Oslo a year later and got employed as cameraman and editor at a TV news programme. In addition to that, he functioned as co-director of a number of films in the TV station's documentary department. In 1995, Demmer started to study at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb). His graduate thesis film "Tarifa Traffic" (CH/DE 2003) about the dramatic situation of refugees on the coast of Tarifa was screened at numerous international film festivals and received multiple awards.
In the following years, Demmer made a number of reportages and TV documentaries, mostly about political and social issues, such as "Anna Lindh und ihr Mörder" (2004), three episodes of the series "Fremde Kinder" (2006-2008) and "Der Sonnenkönig der Massai" (2014). His documentary "Das grüne Gold" ("Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas", SE/DE/FI 2016) about the misguided development aid in Ethiopia, was screened at the DOKfest in Munich and at the San Francisco Green Film Festival amongst others and was released in German cinemas in autumn 2017.