• Director

    Gregory Hernandez

  • Country, Year, Length

    United States, 2022, 01:32:00

  • Category

    Documentary Feature

  • Format


  • Festival Year


Film Screening & Ticket Information

When & Where to See this Film!

1.5 MILLION: Documentary highlighting the literacy crisis within the poorest congressional district of the nation that resides in the South Bronx.

April 20, 2024 @ 2:00PM • Kaufman Astoria Studios – Zukor Theatre

View the Trailer


Documentary highlighting the literacy crisis within the poorest congressional district of the nation that resides in the South Bronx.


Gregory Hernandez, Director, Side Hustle, Leaky Thoughts
Gregory Hernandez, Producer
Nigel Castro, Producer
Edwin Torres, Producer
Benjamin Garst, Director of Photography
Gregory Hernandez, Writer
Sophie Ewh, Editor
Sade Whittier, Composer

Director Statement

The title of the film is derived from the estimated population total of the Bronx as of 2019, which is 1.5 Million. At the time of filming, there were no bookstores in operation in The Bronx, making it the only borough within New York City to have this dubious honor.

Filmed over four years, 1.5 Million brings us The Bronx from 1997 when the borough had only two bookstores, to 2019 when the borough was without a single chain or independent bookstore, until the opening of The Lit Bar. Since then, more bookstore ventures have launched. In addition to bookstores, The Bronx went from having only two little free libraries in 2018 to over twenty-five in operation as of 2022. The NYPL has increased its marketing and accessibility initiative by re-launching its Book Mobile program in 2019.

I wanted to make this film because I believe this is a film that needs to be made. I’m from The Bronx and have a personal stake in leveraging my skills as a filmmaker to improve my immediate surroundings.

In 2014, I was looking for a bookstore for a short scene in a film I was directing and I could not find any bookstore near me. I remember being upset, yet strangely not surprised. I wanted to leave this borough for California, yet two years later, I completed a web series and I heard that The Bronx was in jeopardy of losing its last bookstore. When I read about Noelle Santos’ move to bring a bookstore, I knew right at the moment, this needs to be a documentary.

Here’s a link to the IMDb page for 1.5 Million: https://pro.imdb.com/title/tt21651008?s=2ac1517b-efb0-b6ed-81a8-91e092165afe&site_preference=normal

Director Biography

Gregory Hernandez is a feature filmmaker and video producer. He enjoys the collaborative process of making films and videos. He believes filmmaking to be one of the most inclusive art forms imaginable.

Since 2017, he has been producing and directing a feature length documentary called “1.5 million” which centers around the literacy crisis in The Bronx.

He produced an interview series, called “bronx vignettes” which highlights activists and creatives in the Bronx.

In 2019, he co-founded “bronx film 48” a filmmaking initiative with the goal of increasing the number of filmmakers in The Bronx.