Helena Třeštíková (born 1946) is a Czech documentary filmmaker and professor at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She is renowned for her intimate and observational style of filmmaking, which often focuses on the lives of ordinary people.
Třeštíková was born in 1946 in Prague during the Communist era. She studied film at the FAMU, the prestigious Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. After graduating in 1971, she began her career as a documentary filmmaker, working for Czechoslovak Television. She initially worked as an editor and assistant director before directing her first film, The Little Town of Betlém (1974).
Třeštíková quickly established herself as a major figure in Czech documentary filmmaking. She is best known for her long-term observational documentaries, such as Marriage Stories (1985) and René (2011). Her films often focus on the struggles of ordinary people, and her style has been described as being deeply intimate and humane.
Třeštíková has won numerous awards for her work, including the Czech Lion Award for Best Documentary in 1989, the Golden Prague Award for Best Documentary in 1992, and the European Film Award for Best Documentary in 2003. She was also the recipient of the Czech Republic's highest state honor, the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, in 2016.
In addition to her filmmaking career, Třeštíková is also a professor at FAMU, teaching documentary filmmaking. She has been a mentor to many of the Czech Republic’s most successful filmmakers, including Jan Svěrák, Jan Hřebejk, and Petr Václav.
Třeštíková’s work has been praised for its humanistic approach and its focus on ordinary people. She has been credited with helping to redefine Czech documentary filmmaking, and she is widely regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in the country.