Willem Aerts studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Maastricht (audio-visual design) and at the Dutch Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam, where he graduated in 2001 in directing. After his studies he was a performer in the theater for two seasons in the performances Forgotten Faces and Future Lives and Body. (Amsterdam City Theater - La MAMA ETC New York, U.S.A.)
After this theater adventure he started directing documentaries, music videos and art films. He won a number of international prizes for the short documentary Looking for Curtis. He also works as an editor for the art films of Melanie Bonajo, Dutch entry for the Venice Biennale 2022. The documentary Hans van Manen – Just dance the steps is his third feature-length documentary. He currently works as a documentary director, editor and film teacher.