Robert Pattinson Joins Queen of the Desert; Dermot Mulroney Boards August: Osage County: Biz Break

Also in Tuesday afternoon's round-up of news briefs, awards season is coming - so soon! The Film Independent Spirit Awards set its February date and is now accepting submissions in its various categories. The Academy is teaming up with the Pickford Foundation to honor the Silents. And remembering Welcome Back, Kotter's Ron Palillo.

Film Independent Spirit Awards Looking for Good Movies
The 28th Film Independent Spirit Awards are set for Saturday February 23rd with location (it's usually on the beach in Santa Monica) still officially TBD. The organization is accepting submissions in its various categories beginning today, Tuesday August 14th. It's regular deadline for consideration is Tuesday, September 18th and the final deadline is Tuesday October 16th. The nominations for the Spirits will take place Tuesday, November 27th at 10am. For submission guidelines and more information including an online submission form, visit their website.

Academy Teams with Mary Pickford Foundation to Spotlight Silent Era
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Mary Pickford Foundation have partnered on a multi-year initiative to promote the legacy of Mary Pickford and the silent film era, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson announced. The partnership includes an annual silent film screening, silent film preservation initiatives and the digitization of components of the Academy's Mary Pickford Collection. To kick off this partnership, and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Academy's Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, the Academy and the Foundation will host "Inside the Vaults" event on Tuesday, September 11, at the Pickford Center in Hollywood. The evening includes behind-the-scenes tours of the vaults, a screening of a rare Mary Pickford short The New York Hat (1912), the Los Angeles premiere of the Academy Film Archive's newly restored print of The Mark of Zorro (1920), starring Douglas Fairbanks, and a display of select items from the Academy's Mary Pickford Collection.

Around the 'net…

Robert Pattinson Joins Queen of the Desert
Pattinson will play T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia in Werner Herzog's biopic of Gertrude Bell. Naomi Watts will star as Bell who is credited with establishing the framework for what is today Iraq and Jordan. The explorer, writer, archeologist and political attaché worked for British intelligence during WWI. Herzog wrote the screenplay, THR reports.

Dermot Mulroney Joins August: Osage County
He will play a somewhat mysterious businessman fiancé to Karen, played by Juliette Lewis in the film, being directed by John Wells and shooting this fall, Deadline reports.

Welcome Back, Kotter's Ron Palillo Dead at 63
Palillo played Arnold Horshack on the ABC sitcom which aired 1975 - 1979. He also played supporting roles in a number of animated series and also a small part in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. He died near Palm Beach, Florida where he lived of an apparent heart attack, NPR reports.