The eponymous Hoopeston, Illinois was originally known as the "Sweet Corn Capital of the World," a farming and canning powerhouse just a few hours south of Chicago. But as American industry changed and fled the midwest, Hoopeston collapsed; unemployment skyrockets and real estate and housing prices hit rock-bottom by the turn of the century.
Because buildings were cheap and plentiful in Hoopeston, a Witch School moved there from Chicago in 2003 to offer paid courses in magic. The directors of the school faced stiff opposition from religious conservatives (Hoopeston has over a dozen churches for just a few thousand residents). But the Witch School soon became a fixture in Hoopeston, one that forced some in the town to ask whether its future lies in traditional industry or in magic.
Hoopeston tells the story of the former Sweet Corn Capital through the lives of its residents. A laborer struggles to find work, a young entrepreneur buys the only motel in town, the police chief battles a drug epidemic, and the Witch School's Chancellor lays plans for a vast Crystal Web.
Hoopeston premiered in America at the New York Underground Film Festival in 2008, and in Europe at the Bradford International Film Festival in 2009.