PARIS — On Monday night at the Théâtre Mogador here, Groupe Clarins awarded its 16th Femme Dynamisante prize, which each year honors a woman dedicated to improving children’s lives.
This year’s French winner was Gisèle Tsobanian, founder of Les Toiles Enchantées, an association that has been screening current movies for hospitalized and handicapped youngsters for 16 years.
Last year, the association showed 346 movies in 125 establishments throughout France as well as in New Caledonia and Madagascar, and Tsobanian plans to export the concept to the U.S. in the future.
On accepting the prize, Tsobanian said she was inspired to create the association when working on the 1994 movie “Little Indian, Big City,” when she realized that while millions of children across France had seen the film, those in hospitals had been unable to do so.
“I wanted to allow all hospitalized and handicapped children and adolescents to go to the movies like any other child,” she explained. “Going to the movies brings a little magic.”
Tsobanian was awarded 45,000 euros, or $61,044 at current exchange, to continue her work with Les Toiles Enchantées. This includes a portion of 200,000 euros, or $271,306, raised by Clarins employees and a share of 103,524 euros, or $140,433, collected via a partnership with online retailer Venteprivee.com, whereby 2 euros, or $2.71, from special gift sets was donated to the Femme Dynamisante cause.
All 15 French winners from prior years also received 15,000 euros, or $20,348, each to continue their work at the event, which featured a performance from singer Yoann Fréget, winner of the second French season of “The Voice.”
Worldwide, Groupe Clarins has now recognized a total of 72 women in 14 countries for their work, and continues to support their efforts year after year.
Christian and Olivier Courtin-Clarins, who are respectively chairman and managing director of the firm, took the opportunity to highlight its other charitable initiatives, including supporting Lauren Bush Lauren’s association Feed, which provides free school meals for children in need via the UN World Food Program.