BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Lights, camera, Baltimore!

Filming for the HBO film based on “The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks” will be held in Baltimore next week.

The best-selling book is about its titular character, a woman whose unwitting donation of cancer cells at Johns Hopkins were successfully cultured to create the first immortal cell line used by scientists. It’s now known as the HeLa line, and the cells are still widely used for medical research.

The movie will star Oprah Winfrey, one of the biggest names in media and a WJZ alum. Hosting production of a film, especially one starring Winfrey, is great for Baltimore, local film experts say.

“When a production comes into any jurisdiction, any city, it’s like a small circus coming in,” according Maryland Film Office director Jack Gerbes. “A small army. They need a lot of people and they need a lot of services and goods so it means a lot to Baltimore and to Maryland. And it means a lot of exposure. It certainly means a lot of positive exposure for the city and the state.”

“I just learned about it, I think it was when the book came out and so I read that and I was really saddened and intrigued by it and so I’m really excited that they’re making a movie about her,” Jada Fletcher tells WJZ.

“It’s a story that needs to be told. Needs to be told I think in the context of things that are still happening today, that still violate peoples rights, and people’s property and their own being,” says Dottye Burt.

For more information on casting, CLICK HERE.

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