The first edition of the non-competitive Perugia International Film Festival will take place in Italy from Mar 22-25, 2012.

Artistic director Karen Arikian – the Hamptons International Film Festival executive director – will work closely with festival president Emanuele Rossi to shape the programme.

Stratus Media Group conceived the idea and is producing the event. William Morris Endeavor Entertainment will provide strategic counsel and the festival will collaborate closely with the Umbria Film Commission.

According to a press release the event will aim to show “films that exemplify traditions of craftsmanship as well as of aesthetic and technological innovation.”

An annual focus will be to showcase the work of leading costume and production designers. The roster of events will include moderated discussions and panels. Filmmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus are scheduled to attend.

Arikian and her team will return to Italy after Toronto to present a festival preview to the public in Perugia on Oct 1 and 2.

“Perugia is the perfect location for an international film festival where there can be an opportunity for a lively exchange on the possibilities of the medium of cinema,” Stratus CEO Paul Feller said. 

“Perugia is not only one of the most breathtaking Italian hill towns with a history of artistic achievement and culinary tradition,” Arikian said. “It is also the dynamic home of two internationally renowned universities and a number of significant festivals. That makes Perugia a very youthful city, but one with an incredible artistic heritage. We intend to work with local as well as international institutions to provide a broad platform for the Festival to grow.”