Helmers’ class of ’97 update

Last year was the debut of Daily Variety‘s 10 “Helmers to Watch” list. Here’s a quick update on how several of the honorees have fared over the past 12 months:

Brad Anderson — Following up his critically acclaimed debut “The Darien Gap,” Anderson’s sophomore pic “Next Stop Wonderland” is unspooling at Sundance in the official dramatic competition.

Wes Anderson — For his sophomore follow-up to “Bottle Rocket,” Anderson is in production on another coming-of-age tale, the much-touted “Rushmore” for Touchstone, and co-starring Bill Murray.

Alfonso Cuaron — After his critically acclaimed Warner Bros. pic “A Little Princess,” Cuaron has his imaginative update on Dickens’ “Great Expectations,” rolling into theaters later this month.

Leon Gast — The vet documentarian’s Thrilla in Manila opus “When We Were Kings” collected the Oscar and the Golden Globe for best feature doc.

Jan Sverak — Along with garnering the biggest B.O. for any film in Czech filmmaking history, Czech director Sverak went on to win the best foreign-language Golden Globe and Oscar for his film “Kolya,” and is now in production on a World War II film about Czech pilots in the Royal Air Force.

Michael Winterbottom — After seeing his film “Welcome to Sarajevo” garner an official competition slot at last year’s Cannes fest, Brit filmmaker Winterbottom is set up to direct John Irving’s “The Cider House Rules” for Miramax.

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