The film, Play, tells the story of how three young men met in chance encounters, formed a band and got discovered. It chronicles the creative struggles, relational vicissitudes and professional mis-steps the band goes through while under the pressure of trying to attract a label to sign them. Just at the moment when all seems lost, the boys are offered a chance to busk in the lobby where fans are waiting to see the indie folk rock band, The Swell Season. Glen Hansard, its guitarist and singer, catches their performance and invites them to join him on stage. Upon learning that the band has not chosen a name, he introduces them as his mates. Thus, the band, Mate, is named.