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Jun 22, 2022

Meet the talent behind the existentialist film Ghosted

“Throughout the journey of finding my creative language, I grew up admiring Dark existential art.” Istituto Marangoni London alumna Aqilah Amzi sat with us to discuss her creative language evoking Ballenesque aesthetics, loneliness and art’s power.

Intrigued by her latest work, we asked Amzi to share her vision behind Ghosted. Her fashion movie/editorial is the jewel in the crown in her graduating portfolio and has even received much acclaim from industry heavyweights such as fashion photographer Nick Knight.

Istituto Marangoni London alumna Aqilah Amzi's editorial Ghosted

Istituto Marangoni London alumna Aqilah Amzi's editorial Ghosted

“Artists like Roger Ballen, Marina Abramović, David Lynch, Matthew Barney, and Olivier de Sagazan have greatly influenced how I approach my art. I used different mediums to achieve a unique, unexpected outcome, which added a lot of fun to the overall process,” said Amzi, also known by her pseudonym Delanna Q. Last year, this talented Malaysian student graduated in Fashion Styling & Creative Direction from the London campus.

Istituto Marangoni London alumna Aqilah Amzi's editorial Ghosted

Aqilah Amzi's editorial Ghosted

But what informed her work, and where did she find inspiration? “In terms of story flow, the inspiration usually comes from a place of inner feelings. I speak and express my story in a poetic manner that may lead to confusion at times – but that means success to me,” added Aqilah Amzi, aka Delanna Q. “Visuals, angles and lighting are super important as they create a solid connection to catch the audience’s attention, in my view. Although I’m not a fan of scary movies, my visual inspiration usually comes from vintage horror, dystopian and surrealist movies.”


A proof of that is Ghosted, “an editorial about loneliness,” as she described it. “It is the story of an individual discovering a life journey between two dimensions, romanticising the feeling of being alone, feeling free yet at the same time abandoned in two different time spaces. It is a self-discovery that flashes poetically.” 

This kind of vision and Amzi’s unlocatable, psychological realms also led to a film that gained widespread appreciation. Not many works by up-and-coming creatives succeed in being featured on SHOWstudio, a digital platform founded by one of the most influential photographers on the global scene - Nick Knight. But Aqilah Amzi's did.


Aqilah Amzi's fashion movie Ghosted

Let’s take a step back. While Nick Knight certainly needs no introduction, it is worth mentioning that this British documentary photographer, web publisher and renowned fashion photographer is also the founder and director of the award-winning fashion website since 2000.

So, there was a moment when the paths of Aqilah Amzi – aka Delanna Q – and Nick Knight crossed. That moment was when the short movie Ghosted landed on Knight’s desk – or in his email inbox.

Then Nick Knight selected Amzi’s existentialist film Ghosted and the unruly states of being represented in this for his SHOWstudio’s “Fashion Film Showcase: February 2022”.

What’s more, after the best in the business responded to SHOWstudio’s open call for filmmakers all over the globe to submit their work, Nick Knight and fashion film whiz Raquel Couceiro sat down to critique 12 of the 15 films selected as part of that new seasonal showcase.

One of them was Ghosted. As Nick Knight wrote: “Playing with sound, movement, texture and light, Aqilah Amzi’s Ghosted is a modern love letter expressed through dance, addressed to haunted spirits.” 

Istituto Marangoni London alumna Aqilah Amzi's editorial Ghosted

Aqilah Amzi's editorial Ghosted

“I am proud to see our students seeking confrontation with top industry names, contests and reviews while developing enough confidence to fulfil the task brilliantly,” Nicola Favaron, Fashion Styling and Creative Direction Programme Leader at Istituto Marangoni London. “This is surely facilitated by the London environment itself, having top players as resident DJs and relying on the fact that the UK creative industry is always keen to scout, launch and showcase new talent. However, once we teach a method and provide support with the production and various other things, our students’ success is always the result of their point of view, commitment and dedication. I consider this process greatly fulfilling on the academic side and highly encouraging for the future of the creative industry”. 

“The story was inspired by real stories about how life flashes before your eyes as the brain prepares to die,” commented Amzi, who went on to discuss her film’s impressive soundscapes. “Theremin is the instrument I chose for the sound of this film. The reason is that this instrument is played gracefully without requiring any physical contact by the thereminist. Hence, Ghosted”.



Clementina Bianchi



Creative Direction: Delanna Q (Aqilah Amzi); Photographer: Yi Ling; Lighting Assistant: Louis Douglas; Styling: Yi Ling; Make-up Artist: Mee Kee; Model: Mukeni