Karpo Godina was born in Skopje, North Macedonia in 1943, the son of Viktor Aćimović, photographer, journalist, revolutionary and bohemian and Milena Godina, actress and co-founder of Macedonian State Theatre. He spent his early childhood in Skopje, and adolescence in Maribor. Later, he began shooting 8mm experimental films. In the sixties he studied film, TV radio and theatre direction at the Ljubljana Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, where he later on taught as professor of film directing and camera.
In the year 1968, director Želimir Žilnik invited him to Novi Sad to work as a director of photography and editor in the film Early Works. The film was the winner at the Berlin Film Festival and got the Golden Bear Award. As a director of photograpy in long feature films, Karpo Godina later collaborated with many directors such as Bato Čengić, Lordan Zafranović, Ivica Matić, Živojin Pavlović, Dušan Makavejev, Vojko Duletić, Filip Robar-Dorin, Polona Sepe, Dejan Šorak, Stanko Crnobrnja, Zlatko Lavanić and Miran Zupanič among others in American, English and Argentine co-productions.
As a director, his first long feature film was The Raft of Medusa (Splav Meduze, 1980) followed by Red Boogie (Rdeči boogie, 1982) and Artificial Paradise (Umetni raj, 1990). These three movies were presented on almost all major film festivals world-wide: Cannes, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Sidney, Melbourne, Toronto, Edinburgh, Istanbul, San Francisco, Rotterdam, Strasbourg and many others.
As a jury member he contributed at more than 50 national and international film festivals. Karpo Godina also directed theatre plays and operas.
In the year 2006 he got the Prešeren's award for life work, the highest state award in the field of arts and culture.
In the year 2011 he got the appellation Professor Emeritus of the University of Ljubljana.