About The Film – The Short

What happens when a middle-aged man with a family, mortgage, career and a cat, crashes the world of competitive Slam Poetry?

IF THE POET is the moving, irreverent and inspiring story of Ian French, aka “IF “, beginning with his ‘terrifying’ slam debut at age of 50 and culminating in his obsessed quest to be the oldest person to ever win Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship in Vancouver.

It is also the touching story of the unlikely relationship between 53 year-old IF and his coach and mentor, the 28 year-old poet and musician Ian Keteku, who IF calls “Canada’s greatest living poet”.

IF THE POET is a cinematic ride into the wild heart of Canadian Slam where poets have 3 minutes and 10 seconds to seduce, mesmerize and impress a raucous crowd of rhyme junkies, hipsters, Hip Hop heads, and…5 randomly selected judges.

You’ll meet a array of wonderfully weird, ‘ready for prime time’ Slam Poets, for whom sex, sasquatches, race riots and rap, are all fair game for their poetic assault. Plus, get insights from the stars of Canadian spoken word scene including IF’s coach Ian Keteku (2010 World Individual Slam Champion), Patrick de Belen (National Slam Champion & Youth Educator), Lillian Allen (Godmother of Dub Poetry), Dwayne Morgan (Acclaimed Poet & Promoter), and many others.

IF’s message of empowerment, transformation and personal expression, at any age, is an inspiration.

Directed and Produced by IF’s doppelganger Kim Saltarski, IF THE POET is spoken word odyssey documentary short produced with a grant awarded by bravoFACT – A division of Bell Media Inc. Sign up to our newsletter for updates on screenings, IF bonus footage, live appearances, the feature film incarnation, and much more.