Started as an assistant director, 1924. Made his first film with M. Chiaureli, Pervyi Kernel Streshnev, 1928. Best known for My Iz Kronshtadta, 1936 (script by V. Vishnevskii), which received 1st prize at the Paris International Exhibition, 1937.
Also received a Stalin Prize for the film in 1941. From 1937, taught at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography. From 1965, professor.