Paul Pauwels studied at RITCS film school in Brussels where he got his degree as director and producer. He worked as production manager and unit manager in feature film production until 1987, when he founded his own production company: Periscope Productions.The company produced commercials, short feature films and documentaries. Paul Pauwels sold the company in 2005, to become programme manager at VRT, the Flemish public broadcaster. He left this position in December 2007 and is now the project manager for the EUROPEAN TELEVISION MANAGEMENT ACADEMY in Strasbourg, France.
Paul Pauwels has been the chairperson of the European Documentary Network (EDN) for the maximum period possible, and also, he is a member of the General Assembly of the new Flemish Film Fund (VAF).