Italy’s Giffoni Experience, the film fest for children, is venturing into a new phase with $28 million now in place to begin work on the Giffoni Multimedia Valley, which aims to become Southern Italy’s largest production studio.

Giffoni artistic topper Claudio Gubitosi and the governor of the Campania region, Antonio Bassolino, unveiled the plan for the facility in Rome on Thursday. Expected to cost a total $40 million, it will be part financed by the European Union.

Construction on the building — which will expand Giffoni’s existing digs, add a children’s film museum and production facility — is expected to be complete by 2013.

“This will allow Giffoni to make the leap into proper production in all of its aspects: from children’s animation to TV fiction, to documentaries, to TV formats, to music scores and special effects laboratories,” Bassolino said.

While details of the Giffoni Multimedia Valley’s production infrastructure are still sketchy, it will include two 500-seat screening rooms and an outdoor arena.

For the 40th edition of the fest, which runs July 18-31, Giffoni has secured the Italian preem of Disney’s live-action “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” which Gubitosi said may be the opener, and also a 10-minute promo reel of Italy’s first stereoscopic 3D toon, “Winx Club 3D: Magic Adventure,” from Medusa.

As usual, some 2,800 kids from 40 countries will act as jurors in the competition.

Elijah Wood is booked to make the trek for a “Marathon of the Rings,” while Italo helmer Giuseppe Tornatore will be feted with a career nod and hold a masterclass. Italian president Giorgio Napolitano is also expected to come to “testify the nation’s affection” for the event.