Marlen Khutsiev was a Georgian-born Soviet and Russian filmmaker. Khutsiev studied film in the directing department at VGIK, graduating in 1952. He worked as a director at the Odessa film studio and later at Mosfilm. Khutsiev’s first feature film, Spring on Zarechnaya Street (1956), encapsulated the mood of the post-Stalinist Thaw and went on to become one of the top box-office draws of the 1950s. His two masterpieces of the 1960s, I Am Twenty and July Rain, however, were panned by the authorities, forcing Khutsiev into a prolonged artistic silence.