Francie von Schonfeld – Managing Director
Francie von Schonfeld began her career as an actress diversifying into opera before hanging up her larynx to enter the world of business on a full time basis. She specialised in business consultancy and sales and marketing with particular emphasis on VIP Client Accounts and Strategic Partnerships. In 2012 she established Damage Cat Productions (formerly Damage Cat Ltd), a production company aimed at producing high quality independent feature films and quality drama and documentaries for television.
Francie has Executive Produced and advised on six film projects and in recent months has given talks on raising finance for film. She advises and mentors young, upcoming film makers on their business plans and raising finance for their projects. Apart from ‘Forward Pass’, she is set to produce ‘Troopers’ a period comedy drama (2015) and ‘The Mild Bunch’ a made for television comedy film (2015). She is developing ‘White Gold’ the story of a concubine’s meteoric rise to become the most powerful woman in the Ottoman Empire and ‘Antoinette’s Golden Pond’ a World War II drama within Damage Cat.
Francie is committed to completing a series of books for the very young and the not so young as well as a documentary series detailing the lives of obscure women who changed the course of history.
In her spare time she runs a Virtual Assistance and Lifestyle company, VQ London, and sits on the board of a small charity, Walk-the-Loop, dedicated to pre-school learning and family support.
Alexei has been surrounded by creativity from the day he was born influenced by his mother’s huge talent as an opera singer and musician. He gained a Choral Scholarship at Wells Cathedral and was educated at Wells Cathedral School, a prestigious music school where he excelled in music and developed his creativity.
He read Sound Technology and Digital Music and Oxford Brookes University and from the moment he picked up a video camera there was no looking back and he has followed a career path in video and film production ever since. He founded Oxford Media Solutions with a university colleague winning clients such as Oxfam, the NHS and Oxford University through their hard work and ambition.
Alexei then moved up to London where he worked at BSkyB as an assistant producer on their live shows before joining Sharp Focus Ltd as a self-shooting producer and editor. He has worked largely with the ECB, LTA and British Athletics and has interviewed a variety of personalities including Andrew Flintoff, Stuart Lancaster and the Prime Minister.
When not in work, Alexei can be found either on a rugby or cricket pitch. He continues to nurture his love of music and the West Country, the latter of which he regularly visits for a proper hunk of Cheddar downed with a decent pint of cider.
Nicky Foster van der Elst – Non-Executive Director elect
Nicky Foster Vander Elst is a graduate of the Université d’Aix-Marseille I, and a Freeman of the City of London. She speaks fluent French and English. Nicky has over 30 years’ experience in international financial markets and was the first woman stockbroker to deal in the Canadian Equity Market in London. Nicky’s particular strength is financial analysis.
During the first 25 years of her career, Nicky was an Institutional Stockbroker in the City of London where she worked for a number of well-known names such as James Capel, WI Carr, BZW and the Bank of Nova Scotia. She was a Director of Research Capital (Canada), Deacon BZW (Canada), BZW (UK) and WI Carr (UK). Nicky has considerable experience and understanding of the financial markets and financial matters.
Nicky is presently a Trustee of the Henry Doubleday Research Association, a Director of Organic Entreprises Limited and a Director of NJM Capital Ltd.
Emma Connell – Assistant Producer
Emma is an Actor by day and Assistant Producer by night… the latter being her most recent venture working with various production companies since early 2015 and has now officially joined the team at Damage Cat Productions. Since training at East 15 Acting School in 2010 Emma is best known for her role as the mighty Anne Boleyn in the television series – HENRY AND ANNE. In 2015 she featured as Jane in Ecosse Films – A ROYAL NIGHT OUT starring Sarah Gadon, Rupert Everett and Emily Watson. Her most recent credit is playing Helen in – LATE SHIFT 2016 – the world’s first interactive feature film of its kind. Other television credits include Melissa Bailey in BBC DOCTORS.