Leola Calzolai-Stewart is the co-founder of the Virginia-based production company FLOWSTATE Films where she currently directs and co-produces the historical documentary CHANGING STATE: BLACK DIPLOMATS, CIVIL RIGHTS, AND THE COLD WAR. The film explores the untold story of three African-American diplomats representing the United States overseas at the height of the civil rights movement and the Cold War. The project received support from Black Public Media, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and is Leola’s directorial debut. Leola previously edited the feature documentaries THE LAST SONG BEFORE THE WAR, distributed by Kino Smith, and DEAR WALMART which premiered in 2019 and is distributed by Virgil Films. Born and raised in San Francisco, Leola has an MA in International Affairs from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and she studied film in South Africa at Tshwane University of Technology.