Check out the trailer for The Shaman, a new short film debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival. As with a lot of short films we've seen lately, this has top-notch visual effects — but more than that, it looks like a thing of pure beauty. And it has an original story, with a concept I haven't come across before.

Basically, in The Shaman, it's 2204, and the world has been at war for 73 years. And the main character isn't a soldier — he's a Shaman, one of a group of people who used to be healers. But now, instead, he uses his supernatural powers to "heal" the souls of the enemy, basically helping them cross over into the afterlife. That's what I get from the trailer, in any case. This is the work of writer/director Marco Kalantari (Ainoa).

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Here's a complete synopsis, via Indiewire's The Playlist, which also premiered the trailer:

The dark year 2204, in a world that has seen 73 years of continuous war.

The face of conflict has changed. People kill people but they now rely on giant, intelligent battle machines to fight. Meanwhile, mankind has re-discovered the arts of magic and Shamanism and the Generals on both sides use well-trained spiritual warriors to face the threat of machines. Shamans have special senses; they are experts in all aspects of the "unseen" and the "beyond". They believe that every person, animal, plant and object has a soul. When crossing the border to the Netherworld, the Shaman can find this soul and interact with it. That is what makes him such a deadly, highly effective weapon. They track and convert the souls of their enemies' giant battle machines in a psychological soul-to-soul confrontation. But Shamans are not invulnerable. They are just people and can be killed like anyone else.

Shaman Joshua Van Kern and his squire Lene embark on a mission to convert a giant battle colossus and succeed where troops have failed.

Check out the movie's beautiful poster, and more info, over at The Playlist.


Contact the author at charliejane@io9.com.