Women in Film



FLOWSTATE Films Receives Major Support to Fund New Documentary - Changing State - Black Diplomats, Civil Rights, and the Cold War

NEH Production Grant awarded to all-women production company in support of Changing State (formerly Black Diplomacy)

WASHINGTON, DC (April 9, 2018)—FLOWSTATE Films, a women-owned production company based in Washington, DC, along with Women in Film and Video DC, received grant support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grant will support the production of FLOWSTATE Films’ forthcoming documentary, Changing State (working title), formerly Black Diplomacy, a film about the contributions of African-American diplomats during the Cold War.  

FLOWSTATE Films was founded in 2016 by Kiley Kraskouskas, Leola Calzolai-Stewart and Rachell Shapiro with the intention of creating impactful, authentic and socially-conscious films. The filmmakers have individually and collectively been featured in The Washington Post, NPR, Pitchfork Media, On Tap and Bethesda Magazine, and have received film festival accolades from around the globe.

The NEH announced today that it is awarding $18.6 million in grants for 199 humanities projects and programs across the country. One of only five production grants awarded, FLOWSTATE Films has been offered $450,000 in support.

“These new NEH-supported projects deepen our understanding and appreciation of the traditions, values, and historical figures who have shaped our country,” said NEH Senior Deputy Chairman Jon Parrish Peede.

Changing State is directed and co-produced by Leola Calzolai-Stewart. This is the second documentary feature for Leola.  Her film, The Last Song Before the War, which she co-produced and edited premiered in 2013 to critical acclaim, played in festivals around the world, was distributed widely across Africa and was streamed by NPR Music in 2014.  Changing State is co-produced by FLOWSTATE Films co-founders, Rachell Shapiro and Kiley Kraskouskas, written by award-winning writer, Ken Chowder, and executive produced by Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee, Sam Pollard.

Developing an NEH proposal is an enormous endeavor that combines a team of scholars, filmmakers, and writers to create a program that goes through a rigorous review process. The team at FLOWSTATE Films is honored to receive NEH support.  "Changing State is a timely story that illuminates the contributions of African-American diplomats during one of the most politically and socially divisive times in our country’s history, and we appreciate the support we’ve been given to bring this story to a wider audience," said director Leola Calzolai-Stewart.

The full NEH Press Release can be found here: https://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2018-04-09

For more information about the project go to: http://www.flowstatefilms.com/changing-state/

Press or other inquires should be sent to Leola Calzolai-Stewart: leola@flowstatefilms.com 

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