In a Montreal call center, a twenty-five-year-old carries his regrets and a guitar as if he was on death row.  His recently employed colleague, is 60 years old, though she looks like a child

An asymmetric pair brought together randomly, ‘Bro’ and ‘Che’ will be forced to look into each other while measuring a nation’s alcoholism against minimum wage. As a result, an improbable and unique friendship will blossom and change them silently.

The idea first came to Gabriel Brown back in 2004 when a student referred him into a call center for a job.

I was surprised by what I discovered there: the individual stories behind the general boredom, the fake names, the absurd beer surveys, the outside excursions that would force us to become friends, etc. The place was filled with characters no one knew existed, made invisible by formal phone interactions.

Gabriel wrote a short story years later that became a finalist in a contest, he saw its potential but he only brought it to life after he met and discussed with fellow actress Jeanne Ostiguy in a workshop they were attending.

Gabriel and Jeanne produced an unusual film where they would be their own actors, therefore had the opportunity to build characters they both know they will be able to bring through.

I didn’t want to write a story just to write one. I felt like I wanted to reveal obscure aspects of our very own “castings”, and by that I mean personalities we knew we could play but never had a chance to. Most importantly, I wanted to reveal things about humanity, which is essential to my creation – and that of many. I needed a story, a purpose, but I didn’t want to force it. That’s when I decided to go back to the short story I had previously written.

514 grasps us from its meticulous story rather than with extraordinary visuals, don’t get me wrong, the film is extremely well shot and is meant to be as realistic as a call center can be. But it’s the story and the actors – or characters’ – ambitions that drive the story forward.

“514” came from a simple desire to act, but also from a bigger quest to talk about humanity. We embrace the exposure it brought us, yet its purpose is greater.

Dans un centre d’appel de Montréal, « Bro » traîne sa guitare et ses 25 ans plein de regrets, arpentant les couloirs tel un condamné à mort. Nouvellement embauchée, sa collègue Marie-Marthe « Che » Chevrette a l’air d’une enfant malgré ses 60 ans.

Paire asymétrique réunie par le hasard, Bro et Che devront s’apprivoiser en même temps qu’ils sondent l’alcoolisme de la nation pour un maigre salaire. Une amitié aussi unique qu’improbable en naîtra, les changeant en silence.

« 514 » est l’histoire de deux générations qui se laissent perplexes, où jeunesse et espoir ne sont pas inséparables. C’est le récit tranquille de ces êtres qu’on évite… puis qu’on rencontre.