Mark Urman’s new distributor Paladin has acquired US rights to period romance The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond and road movie Handsome Harry , bringing its initial slate to four.

Paladin plans to screen The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond on the autumn festival circuit and book a late December awards qualifying run in Los Angeles and New York before expanding into top ten markets in early 2010.

Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Evans, Ellen Burstyn, Ann-Margret, Mamie Gummer and Will Patton star in Tennessee Williams’ period romance and Jodie Markell directed.

Urman former Paladin in July after he left the moribund Senator Entertainment and hired head of marketing Amanda Sherwin and theatrical sales chief Michael Tuckman, both of whom he worked at THINKFilm.

Paladin will open Bette Gordon’s Handsome Harry in early 2010. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last spring and stars Jamey Sheridan, Steve Buscemi, Aidan Quinn, John Savage, and Campbell Scott.

Paladin’s inaugural release is Disgrace based on J M Coetzee’s post-Apartheid drama starring John Malkovich. Paladin will open it in New York on September 18 and expand a week later.

The comedy Splinterheads starring Thomas Middleditch, Rachael Taylor, Lea Thompson and Christopher McDonald will open in November and premiered at SXSW.