Billie Lourd partnered up with Moët & Chandon for a very special night during the Tribeca Film Festival

By Ale Russian
May 11, 2018 04:03 PM

Billie Lourd helped make two aspiring filmmakers very happy recently during a very special night at the Tribeca Film Festival.

As a member of the judges panel for the third annual Moët Moment Film Festival presented by Moët & Chandon, the Star Wars actress, 25, oversaw a competition that encourages aspiring filmmakers to submit 30-60-second short films for a chance to win a $25,000 film grant.

For the first time ever, two winners were chosen by the panel of industry experts due to the high quality of submissions. Angelita Mendoza and Aubrey Smyth both walked away with $25,000 in grant money.

“This year, the judges were comprised of some of the most extraordinary women in the industry,” winner Mendoza told PEOPLE. “To have them watch our film and feel moved by it is an amazing gift. We are incredibly grateful. I hope to learn from them for years to come.”

Lourd toasting with Smyth
Benjamin Lozovsky for Moet & Chandon

Smyth echoed her fellow winner and added that she had a special moment with Lourd during the awards presentation.

“I was honored to have my film viewed and rated by immensely accomplished and acclaimed judges,” Smyth said. “Billie Lourd told me that my film touched her and it was rewarding to discuss my creative decisions with all of the judges at the award ceremony.”

For both winners, the recognition meant validation for their chosen career and a chance to continue pursuing it. Mendoza was thankful for the vote of confidence in what is usually a hard path to pursue.

“There are so many things in life that pull you away from achieving your dream, especially in the film industry,” Mendoza said. “People telling you that it is not a viable job. Gigs that pay well but distract you from your actual goals. It gets to the point that you question whether you have a story to tell that someone wants to hear. When you have the support of such an important brand, like Moët, you feel validated. You feel encouraged and you feel that you are on the right path. The fact that our story resonated with Moët shows how supportive the brand is towards accepting people from all walks of life. That makes me feel proud to have their support.”

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