Martin Barab has joined Los Angeles-based distributor American World Pictures as president of international production and distribution.

Barab, who recently exited his post as president of beleaguered Bauer Martinez Studio's production division Lucky 50 Productions, will work closely with American World Pictures chairman Mark Lester and production president Dana Dubovsky.

Aside from his day-to-day duties Barab will be charged with building the company's financial ability to acquire and co-produce a slate of higher profile features for the domestic marketplace.

Prior to Lucky 50 Productions, Barab served as president and general counsel for Bauer Martinez Distribution. He also ran an entertainment law firm, representing among others Nu Image, Millennium Films, and Screen Media Ventures.

'Barab brings an invaluable amount of expertise and insight to American World Pictures and will be tremendous asset in further raising the growth and profile of the company,' Lester said.

'American World Pictures is looking to increase its financing capabilities as well as develop, produce or acquire commercial, first-run, motion pictures, capable of at least a limited theatrical release in the domestic market,' Barab said.

'I have known Mark Lester for over 20 years and in my opinion he possesses the highest degree of integrity, a rare commodity in this business. This will be a tremendous asset to me in increasing the growth and worldwide recognition of the company.'