Veteran actor Deepti Naval at the Third International Shimla Film Festival, said she always wanted to play the role of Umrao Jaan.

Unfolding the past of Bollywood, when platforms for art films were limited and drawing parallel with the present-day, she said, “Today, we have the internet and we have various platforms where one can showcase art movies.”

Deepti asserted that art films are not dying. “Today there is a lot of scope for such films. Most of my work is scattered. I am planning to showcase it through the internet.”

Deepti Naval at the opening of the third film festival in Shimla emphasized on opening a film institute in Shimla and said, “When film makers from Mumbai can come here to shoot movies, why can’t we have a film school or studio here.”

Talking about the change that Indian cinema has undergone from the 1980’s to the present, she said, “Earlier the focus was on the strength of the subject but now cinema has become technically strong.”

“However, of late, there have been some films with unique subject,” she added.

She also inaugurated the two-day film festival that will screen 46 films from 23 countries.

The actress said the film festival of this level in Shimla, with participation of independent filmmakers from across the world, was a positive step towards understanding of the films and film making.

The entries are from the countries including Singapore, Australia, Portugal, South Korea, Hong Kong, Italy, Nepal, Bhutan, Germany, France, USA, UK, Netherland, Canada, Poland, Africa, Switzerland, Japan, Turkey, Oman, Tajikistan, Iran and India.

A package of films provided by Dutch Mountain film festival, Netherlands, Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA) and the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT).

The festival will also screen National Award winning film Zikr us parivaash ka which is based on the life of Begam Akhtar, who is known for her gazals, dadra and thumri.