Stewart was honored with the Visionary Award at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, presented by Eisenberg
At the festival's Opening Night Gala on Thursday, Stewart received the Visionary Award, recognizing her work as an "uncompromising artist, [her] contributions to the field of independent film, and her long history with the Sundance Film Festival," per a previous press release.
"He's my boy!" Stewart told PEOPLE at the event of Eisenberg, while saying she feels "lucky" to receive the honor at just 33 years old. "It's really nice."
"People that make movies that finally find their way [to Sundance], they’re like, psychotic," she also jokes of the festival. "You have to be kind of crazy to go, ‘I’m telling you, this is a good idea.’ Against all odds, like, ‘This is probably not going to end up good for anyone, but we have to try.' "
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
"So when I was younger and worked with all of these incredible directors, they instilled this in me," Stewart continues in her chat with PEOPLE. "I was so lucky. I was just a little tiny kid. And now, I’m like, ‘Don’t make a movie unless you have to.’ "
While presenting Stewart with the Visionary Award, Eisenberg said, "Kristen is one of these rare performers where she is so committed, so authentic, so feeling, that you almost want to make sure she's okay at the end of the day."
"And it's this kind of painstaking feeling that she brings to everything, which is such a gift for audiences because it gives us a real peek into the breath of our collective experiences," added the Social Network star.
After a highlight reel from her film career played for the crowd, Stewart addressed her friend, "Jesse, I adore you and your work and your whole life, just endlessly and lifelong — like, I'll do it for my whole life. I love you. So much."
"And I really love this festival. My whole life, I have loved this festival," the Oscar nominee continued. "I came here for the first time 20 years ago, I realized today. I could barely speak English when spoken to. I got my first pair of Ugg boots and I actually got to be where the cool kids were. I knew that in my bones this was just a place full of yes in a world full of no and I couldn't even understand why yet, but I knew it. And I know that I was right."
Continued the Twilight alum, "Awards are only as meaningful as the people and places that give them to you, and to be accepted by the community I have admired so personally, it is so lovely and enlivening, it is so well-timed. I need this. Thank you."
Stewart has two movies playing at Sundance this year: Love Lies Bleeding and Love Me. Eisenberg, meanwhile, is there to roll out A Real Pain, which he wrote, directed and stars in alongside Kieran Culkin.
Last month, when it was announced that Stewart would receive the Visionary Award, she said in a statement, "Sundance’s purity, lack of fussy pretension, and its commitment to supporting independence in an industry that doesn’t always value the radical or the sidelined is what makes it by far the homiest place for me to go see, discuss and present films."
"Truly honored to be acknowledged by this beloved institution," added Stewart.
The full 2024 Sundance Film Festival lineup can be found here. The festival runs through Jan. 28.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.