Valeska Grisebach was born in Bremen, studied German literature and philosophy in Berlin, Munich, and Vienna before beginning film studies in Vienna.
Grisebach's diploma film Mein Stern (Be My Star) won the International Critics' Award at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as the prize for Best Feature Film at the Turin Film Festival. In 2006, her second film Sehnsucht (Longing) debuted in competition at the Berlin Film Festival. Grisebach's third film Western premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Similar to films such as The Hurt Locker and Beau travail, Western is focused on the masculinity of its characters, but from the perspective of a female director.
Valeska Grisebach's sister is the actress Anna Grisebach.