A 'love letter' to playing spaces

Film-maker Jacen Tan at the premiere of Homeground, his short documentary on amateur football culture, at *Scape Orchard yesterday.
Film-maker Jacen Tan at the premiere of Homeground, his short documentary on amateur football culture, at *Scape Orchard yesterday.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Whether it means setting up goalposts with slippers or dustbins, or simply kicking the ball around in a void deck, weekend football warriors here always have a place they consider their "homeground".

And that is why his new 23-minute documentary on amateur football culture here is titled Homeground, explained local film-maker Jacen Tan, 32.

He describes it as his "love letter" to playing spaces in Singapore.

The short film was screened for the first time yesterday for around 100 people at *Scape in Orchard.

The audience included some of those he featured in the film.

"This film is not about professional players or superstars, but about everyday footballers who play the game week in and week out, for the love of the game," said Mr Tan, adding that he was inspired by his own experience playing football weekly at the same basketball court in Serangoon for more than 20 years.

The $50,000 film was funded by the POSB Storytellers Grant as part of the bank's SG50 initiative NeighboursFirst. It will be released on the NeighboursFirst.sg website in the first week of next month.

This is Mr Tan's fifth film about football. The first, Tak Giu (Kick Ball in the Hokkien dialect), was released in 2004.

Mr Tan added that making the latest film has found him more football buddies to play with.

Joanna Seow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 25, 2015, with the headline 'A 'love letter' to playing spaces'. Print Edition | Subscribe