Film and television were a dominant part of Imad Elsheikh’s life while growing up in Toronto, Canada. He was always in front of the screen, watching sports, television shows, and of course, movies. He had this passion all his life, but never considered it as a career path, instead finding his way into the technology world as an early career. However, when he was laid off from his tech job in 2014, he asked himself what he would truly want to do, and decided he needed to explore his creative mindset. It didn’t take him long to establish his own production company, Pique Toronto, in 2015, which is now an international studio producing content across the globe.
“I get to reconnect with my younger self and work on projects that I grew up watching. This is very inspiring to me,” he said.
Now an internationally in-demand and award-winning producer, Elsheikh has come a long way from that boy who loved movies. His resume includes highlights such as collaborating with brands like Adidas, producing over 40 projects for the iconic company, working with icons such as movie star Simu Liu, and NBA All Stars Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, and taking home major awards including the 2022 Prism Prize for top Canadian music video.
“It’s fulfilling and empowering to be at such a high point in my career. It makes me feel like all the months and years of hard work does pay off,” he said.
With his commercial work, Elsheikh aims to tell important stories through promotional content, evident with his work on the upcoming Keith Haring x Converse campaign. The Late Keith Haring is an internationally celebrated artist, and the campaign was a tribute to him and his work. Elsheikh connected with this, as he had loved Haring’s pieces growing up, making the project very nostalgic for him.
“This concept was very freeing. It was open to different cultures, ethnicities, and was LGBTQ friendly. Dance and music were a big part of the project and was inspired by the iconic club Paradise Garage which was closely connected to the LGBTQ and nightclub cultures,” said. Elsheikh.
Elsheikh was brought onto the project by award-winning director, Sammy Rawal. There was a lot of visual effects work required to bring Rawal’s vision to life, and he knew Elsheikh was the producer that could make it happen. There was also the added complexity of distance; Elsheikh had to be the point of contact as the team was in the United States and he had to produce the project in Canada. It is not easy leading a team remotely, but Elsheikh is highly organized and was able to do so seamlessly. His past relationships in street fashion allowed him to produce such a project that aligned with Keith Haring and Converse’s brand objectives and vision despite such obstacles.
Converse began making footwear inspired by Keith Haring’s work in 2021, but this campaign will be the first to promote the product. Elsheikh is excited for it to hit the brand’s social media channels so audiences can see what a great collaboration the artwork is with the iconic shoe brand.
“It’s great to see that Keith Haring’s legacy will continue and will continue to get recognition and love even after his passing,” he concluded.