It usually takes dozens, if not hundreds, of people to make a movie. But Charlie Villanueva, his two brothers, and his manager are in the process of making a crowd-funded feature-length documentary all by themselves, an incredible — and important — challenge that the Mavs forward believes he and his group can overcome.
Villanueva, his two brothers Rob C. Villanueva and Rob E. Villanueva, and Burton Chawla are currently working on “Season X,” a documentary about the player, his career, and his condition. The Mavs forward is the only man in NBA history to play with Alopecia Areata autoimmune disease, which results in hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. Those affected at a young age are often victims of targeted bullying and judgment, Villanueva admittedly among them. But the big man has spent his entire career working to increase awareness for the disease, and has remained extremely active with his own charity, Charlie’s Angels.
The Maverick and his fellow filmmakers put on a sneak preview Wednesday night at the Landmark Theater in Inwood as part of a fundraiser for the project. The goal is to raise enough money to complete the film as soon as possible so that it can debut during All-Star Weekend next February in Toronto. The group has already produced an entire mini-series, “Crossroads,” on a very limited budget — Chawla said they shot the entire thing with cellphones — but in order to produce the picture they truly want to make, it will take a bit more funding from those in the community.
“We’ve got four guys that are just trying to make this happen because we think it’s an important story,” Chawla said at the sneak peek. “We’ve obviously got the subject. He’s the only player in NBA history to have this condition, Alopecia. So we think there’s a lot here.”
He continued: “This is not a moneymaking venture for us or any investor. Anybody who wants to get involved in this, you can’t be thinking there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That’s not the point of this. The point of this is the actual rainbow: how we get here, the story of it, creating awareness.”
In addition to being an outspoken advocate for those with Alopecia and increasing awareness for the condition, Villanueva is also a proud Afro-Latino and participated in an ESPN mini-movie about pride in his heritage. The 31-year-old forward is certainly proud of who he is and comfortable in his own skin, and he’s using his success to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives.