BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Hollywood filmmaker originally from Buffalo is trying to help out a local film studio.

Rob Lieberman, who is originally from North Buffalo, is known for directing classics such as The Mighty Ducks and the X-Files.

He’s seen the toll that the pandemic has had on the movie industry and is trying to do his part to keep it alive.

Lieberman says he grew up just minutes from the North Park Theatre. He’ll return there on Saturday.

“That was where I saw my very first movie, that’s where I started the whole dream of becoming a film director started just a few blocks away, I was born and raised in North Buffalo on Avery and Delaware,” Lieberman said.

Lieberman will host a screening of his 1993 sci-fi thriller Fire in the Sky. The screening will be Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at the North Park Theater. Donations from the screening will go to the non-profit — Squeaky Wheel Film and Arts Center on Main Street in Buffalo.

“They will aid you, they have classes and they help promote first films, that’s their main thing, you want to make a short film, they’re there to help you do it,” Lieberman said.

The film industry has suffered from declining attendance at movie theaters amid the pandemic. That mixed with competition from streaming services has put movie theaters and film studios in a tough spot financially.

On Wednesday, Cineworld, the owner of Regal Cinemas filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company hopes to restructure billions of dollars in debt. Regal movie theaters will still operate while Cineworld goes through Chapter 11.

Lieberman says it’s up to local communities to help keep smaller venues like Squeaky Wheel going.

“And I felt what better way to help Buffalo, a community that I feel so attached to and I feel so beholden to,” Lieberman said.

Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.