DocsBarcelona will pay tribute to 73-year-old filmmaker Helena Třeštíková, one of Europe's leading contemporary documentary filmmakers. Her extraordinary career of more than fifty titles will be recognised with the Honorary DocsBarcelona Award 2023, an award that celebrates "a prodigious production strongly linked to her homeland, the Czech Republic. Today, her films are already a legacy and a first hand document of the last half-century of the country's history. Třeštíková will receive the award at the opening of the event, which will celebrate its twenty-sixth edition from 18th to 28th May and will bring more than thirty documentaries to the CCCB and the Aribau Cinemas.
Helena Třeštíková briefly held the post of Minister of Culture of her country in 2007 and delved into the life and work of fellow Czech director Milos Forman with Forman vs. Forman, a film premiered in 2019 at DocsBarcelona and the Cannes Film Festival. With a powerful focus on human relationships and social issues, Třeštíková has built an extensive filmography where time-lapse shines, a resource often used by the filmmaker to follow her characters through decades of their lives.
DocsBarcelona recognition will be completed with a retrospective at the Filmoteca de Catalunya, which will include three of her most celebrated titles: *Katka (2010), a portrait filmed over fourteen years of a drug-dependent teenager struggling to overcome her addiction; Private Universe (2012), in which Třeštíková films a Czech family over nearly four decades against the backdrop of the fall of Stalinist socialism and the entry into the European Union, and the recent René - The Prisoner of Freedom (2021), the sequel to René (2008), in which the filmmaker reunites with her protagonist, a young man she filmed for twenty years in a juvenile prison. The film is a portrait of an outsider who is highly critical of society and the system in which he does not fit in.
Třeštíková will also offer a masterclass with an intimate and carefully chosen selection of the sequences from her filmography that have most influenced her. The session will be hosted by Marga Almirall, from Barcelona Women's Film Festival, coorganizer of the envent.