Russia’s state-backed film promotion body, Roskino, has pacted with Rome-based sales house Intramovies, which will become its consultant-agent on 14 Russian productions.

It’s a key step in relations between Russia, one of the world’s fastest-growing film markets, and Italy.

Under the pact, Intra, headed by Paola Corvino, will lend its international sales expertise on productions that Roskino is tubthumping globally.

“The nitty gritty for us is, besides all of our promotional

activities: how are we going to sell our films?” said Roskino exec Eleonora Granata, who heads the Russian Film Commission in Los Angeles. “Being a sales agent requires years and years of relationships that you build up. Paola has that, plus being a forward-looking person who is never afraid to try a new business model and renew herself and her company.”

Granata said Intra will start out as a Roskino consultant, with plans “to develop the relationship into something beyond that” as things go forward.

She added that Roskino also offers distribution incentives to companies that get Russian movies released in their territories.

“By relying on the experience of one of the most successful sales companies we are going to present new Russian cinema to worldwide audiences at all the main film festivals and markets in 2012 and 2013,” said Roskino CEO Catherine Mtsitouridze.

Corvino said she expects to be announcing a first sale on helmer Igor Voloshin’s drama “Bedouin,” which bowed in Karlovy Vary about a Ukrainian who agrees to rent out her womb to a gay Moscow couple who want to have a child.