Giffoni Valle Piana, July 17 - American actress Julianne Moore met with children at this year's Giffoni Children's Film Festival, where she received the festival's top prize, the Francois Truffaut Award. Moore said she discovered acting thanks to a high school teacher who encouraged her. "Then one day I saw Meryl Streep on the cover of Time Magazine as the emerging actress of the moment. She become my role model; I wanted to do what she had done," the 56-year-old Moore told ANSA. Moore was enthusiastically welcomed by the young members of the festival's jury, who appeared in a video to tell about their favorite Moore films, from her Oscar-winning appearance in Still Alice, to her roles in Magnolia, The Hours and Hunger Games. In terms of having children herself, Moore says it was something she wanted, and that being a parent to her children Caleb, now 19, and Liv, 15, with her husband, director Bart Freundlich, has been "a great gift". "Above all, I want to tell my children and the children here at Giffoni not to underestimate how important it is to follow your passions," Moore said. "It is through them that you come to understand what it is you truly want to do in life," she said. Moore said being a mother is what pushed her to become an activist for stricter gun laws in the US. "My country is one where the right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution, therefore I prefer to talk more about safety than gun control. We need to convince people that just as we had to put in place laws to ensure that cars wouldn't become deadly weapons, we need to do the same with guns," she said. When asked whether this is even more necessary now that Trump is president, Moore said she feels it's a battle that she must fight "as a citizen and as a mother" regardless of who's in office. Moore said she is also taking part in a campaign against limits on migration, against the policies of the current president. "In America, except for Native Americans, we're all immigrants; even I'm a first generation American," she said. "The United States has been made great by and owes its identity to immigration," she said. Moore's upcoming films include "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" by director Matthew Vaughan, and "Suburbicon", a black comedy with George Clooney, as well as a currently untitled David O. Russell series for Amazon TV with Robert De Niro.