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Zach Rockenstyre
Jackson Heights: A New York Story

Jackson Heights: A New York Story

In an ever changing New York, the neighborhood of Jackson Heights remains a sanctuary for many - where a tapestry of cultures and backgrounds have built a home over the last several decades. ‘Jackson Heights: a New York story’ aims to be more than a portrayal of a neighborhood; it’s a love letter to our shared human experience, and our collective resilience during times of uncertainty and change in this city and the world at large. As we continue to witness friction rooted in gentrification and displacement throughout the boroughs, as well as greater conflicts on a global scale, this project serves as a reminder of the commonalities that connect us rather than those which divide us. Poem: The Unwritten Letter by Muna Abdulahi @munaabdulahi_ Photographer & Director: Diego Bendezu @diegobendezu Director, DP, Colorist & Editor: Zach Rockenstyre @zrock1 Stylist: Noah Rosa Diaz @noahrosadiaz Make Up / Art Direction: Juan Jaar @juanjaar Hair: Takuya Sugawara @hairbytaku Talent: Tomie Martel @tomiemar, Rahm @rahmbow, Javion Rob @javionrob, Melissa Ramirez @the_meli_show, Kai Soléil @kaisoleil_, Alex Rodriguez @em0spit, Michael Pico @lilap3, Donovan Santos @donovansantos8 Casting: Ojeras + Juan Jaar @juanjaar Casting for Michael & Donovan: Cheyma @cheymha AC: Justin Yoon @justoob Photo Assistants: Brandon Abreu @__bandobrando and Diego Rodriguez @diegorodriguezzss Make Up Assistant: Shaena Baddour @shaenabaddour Hair Assistant: Rina Miecel @miecel.rina Production: Ojeras / Austin Esterline @austin_esterline Production Assistant: Amber Li Special thanks to @dart993 @martin_jacksonheights
Zach's 2020 Reel
Michael Kors - Cabo
Reebok x Gigi Hadid
EQX+ - Solidcore Promo
Lafayette 148
Next - Imaan Hammam
Two Feet - Go F*ck Yourself
J. Crew - #meetmycrew
Surf Taco - Go Get It
Playtex - Aly Raisman
NYSC - Seize the Daylight - Running
Vidanta - Gabriel Soto
Nike Zoomfly x Black Roses
Zachs Portfolio


I was born In Schenectady, New York and first fell in love with cameras in my film & tv course in high school. After attending a few years at SUNY Brockport dabbling in various fields, I realized nothing was as fun or challenging as filmmaking. I transferred to the NYU/Tisch Film program & graduated in 2011.


I spent a few years in the offices of Salaam Remi's production company, Re-Mi-Fa, as a production coordinator and after filling in for a sick DP on a documentary project, started falling in love with cinematography. Afterwards, I went to work at Hello World Communications to hone the technical side of my knowledge as digital cinematography was really reaching the masses.


With the advent of Freefly Systems' movi pro, I became the in house "movi guy" and quickly people wanted to bring me on set. Next thing you know, I had a reputation as a movi operator in the city and my freelance career was underway.


In 2014, I formed Artek Pictures, an EQ rental partnership with Andi Obarski. In 2022, I'm now looking to establish flesh out my cinematography work with more commercial and narrative work.


My work has come full circle as I've bridged from movi technician, to movi operator, to camera assistant, to cinematographer. Every job seems to be full of unique new stories and crazy adventures along the way.

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