"To be honest, I just heard that it was a beautiful festival, and one to take seriously," Jolie told Associated Press Television News.
The award was presented by Clint Eastwood, director of Jolie's upcoming drama "The Changeling."
"Clint Eastwood? Awwww! Don't get me started," Jolie said. "I could talk forever about him. I could turn the whole evening into a Clint Eastwood evening. ... I think he's just a genuinely great guy. He's nice to everybody on set."
Jolie arrived with her partner, Brad Pitt, who did not speak to the media but briefly posed with Jolie for photos.
She said dealing with the insanity of Hollywood is much easier with Pitt and their children at her side. "I think it's the only way to juggle it," she said.
Besides her film career, Jolie, who won an Oscar for her part in the 1999 film "Girl, Interrupted," keeps busy with humanitarian efforts at home and abroad, including work with the United Nations as a goodwill ambassador.
Her friend George Clooney was recently named U.N. messenger of peace, but Jolie said she didn't have a clue what he should expect from the gig.
"I'm not sure exactly what his position is and what he's gonna do," she said. "But I know his heart is in the right place, and he's truly committed."
Jolie, who wore a black blouse and loose-fitting floor-length skirt, looked lean and not obviously pregnant. Publicists asked the media not to question her about reports that she may be with child again.
Jolie and Pitt have been tabloid staples since they began shooting "Mr. And Mrs. Smith" in 2004, when Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston but a romance with Jolie was blooming on the set.
What does Jolie think it will take for the press to move beyond their off-screen life and onto more significant things?
"I think it's going to take, partly, people wanting to learn those things," she said. "I mean, I know, that's what I look for when I wake up in the morning - when I go online or when I get the paper. And you can find it if you're looking for it. And you can avoid silliness if you want to. So it's a personal choice of each individual."