He studied English and German Language and Literature at the University of Deusto. He tried to follow the family tradition and worked for eight years in the Merchant Navy where he reached the rank of pilot for Liberian and Panamanian ships, but his great vocation, like that of his brothers, was the cinema. He regularly collaborated with his brother José Miguel Ibarretxe on numerous film projects such asSólo se muere dos veces (1997), Sabotage! (2000), andUn mundo casi perfecto (2011) He was also the producer ofLos cronocrímenes (2007), which established Nacho Vigalondo as a successful director. He directed short films such as La venganza del artista calvo (1989),In Vino Veritas (1991) and Malditas sean las suegras (1994). With his first feature film, Sólo se muere dos veces, he won an award at the Sitges Fantastic Film Festival.