Like love, movies have the power to transcend the limits of space and time; calling us into a narrative and allowing us to lose ourselves in the magic of cinematic storytelling. Whether you’re cozied up cuddling with a loved one or stretched out enjoying your nightly streaming binge, here are a few of our favorite love stories as told by NVFF filmmakers to watch this Valentine’s Day.
Jane Wants a Boyfriend, dir. William C. Sullivan
Jane, an aspiring costume designer on the autism spectrum, wants nothing more than to be considered normal. She bravely faces down the obstacles of her daily life, though often failing in her endeavors. Inspired by the romantic storyline of a show she’s working on, Jane recruits her older sister to help her find a boyfriend. Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Tubi, Vudu, and YouTube.
Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, dir. Emily Ting
Josh, an expatriate American businessman, and Ruby, a Chinese-American tourist, strike a romantic spark during a chance encounter one night in Hong Kong. Although the chemistry is there, the timing is off. Remarkably, one year later, the two are blessed with an equally coincidental second date. Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Tubi, Vudu, and YouTube.
Tumbledown, dir. Sean Mewshaw
Hannah struggles to move on with her life after the death of her husband, an acclaimed folk singer, when she’s visited by Andrew, a brash New York City professor on assignment to interview her for a profile piece. The tables turn when Hannah hires him to co-write her late husband’s biography. Through their collaboration, Andrew forces Hannah to confront her loss and the ambiguous circumstances of her husband’s untimely death. Now streaming on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Vudu.
The Shape of Water, dir. Guillermo del Toro
Set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America at a top-secret government research facility, a lonely janitor’s life is changed when she discovers the lab’s classified secret – a mysterious, scaled creature – whose fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a corrupt marine biologist. Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, and YouTube.
Call Me by Your Name, dir. Luca Guadagnino
In 1980s Italy, a romance blossoms between Elio, a seventeen-year-old Italian-American boy, and Oliver, the charming American scholar hired as his father’s research assistant. Over the course of the summer, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire that will alter their lives forever. Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, and YouTube.
The Way You Look Tonight, dir. John Cerrito
In the midst of attempting to navigate modern online dating culture, Peter mets Ellie, who appears to be his dream girl. Despite their instantaneous connection, Ellie suddenly disappears. As Peter reopens himself to the possibility of love, he begins to notice eerie similarities between all the women he meets. Peter soon discovers a new world of people and experiences that cause him to question the nature of attraction and identity in this unique story with a supernatural twist. Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, and YouTube.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, dir. Céline Sciamma
In 1760s France, Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Marianne arrives under the guise of companionship with the reluctant bride-to-be, observing Héloïse by day and secretly painting her by fireside at night. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Héloïse’s first moments of freedom. In select theaters February 14.