Gerrit Messiaen studied communication, film and political sciences at the University of Ghent and Brussels. After an apprenticeship as screenwriter with the VRT television fiction department, he worked two years as a producer for Frans Buyens and Lydia Chagoll. In 1996 he realised with Robert Visser A journey with Paul Cox, a documentary portrait of the Australian filmmaker, which was shown at various international film festivals.
In 1998 Gerrit Messiaen realised a short documentary The dance of Roberte. Until my last Breath a portrait of the Belgian film director Frans Buyens was awarded best Belgian documentary at the Brussels Film Festival 2000.