Tired of watching commercials from diamond stores telling you what love is—and how much it costs? Same here! Stories on the nature of our deepest interpersonal affections are a lot more interesting when they come from filmmakers exploring the topic from a myriad of perspectives. Check out this compilation of recently released work from filmmakers who, intentionally or not, offer beautiful interpretations of that often used word: love.

For Love of Everything: Surf the Universe

“Cuz light is just a wave. Sound is just a wave. Life is just a wave, and we surf…” narrates Samson in this film by Jakob Owens. Not just a beautifully constructed short poem for those landlocked lubbers missing blue barrels, it's also something for those of us postulating the depth of love and the interconnectedness of things.

For Unrequited Love: James Vincent McMorrow // National

Who hasn’t known the sting of love lost or not returned? James Vincent McMorrow captures the feeling in his song 'National,' and under the direction of Giant Ant, the animated music video creates a universe to match it. “We wanted to compliment this with a similarly emotive video that tells a story of unrequited love, interiority, and the complicated feelings that surround painful but treasured memories,” writes Giant Ant.

For the Memory of First Love: I Like Girls

Filmmaker Diane Obomsawin (also known under the name Obom for her graphic novels) tells four women’s stories of first love, using imaginative anthropomorphic part-human part-animal figures to cover infatuation, mutual attraction, erotic moments, and fumbling attempts at sexual expression.

Love After War: Nahla’s Letter

This animated film by Romain Loubersanes translates a love letter from an Iraqi woman named Nahla who escapes misery following the horrors of war in the unlikely but inspiring event of finding love again.

For Love of CGI:  The Effects Breakdown of “Happy Valentines Day”

What’s even more crafty than pulling off a six minute short drama with only one shot, in slow-motion, oh and did I mention, happening in reverse? The Neymarc Brothers showing us how they did it!

For Unspoken Love: Shuvit

Why is it that the people the closest to us, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, are often the most difficult to express ourselves to? In this impressionistic short by director Jennifer Reeder based on the story "Summer of Bones" by Rob Maigret, a father and son exchange their feelings over love for skateboarding.

For the Love of Wet Plate Photography: Sugandho

What could be more exacting of love’s toil than the thoughtful slowness of hand pouring a solution of iodide and collodian onto a glass plate, immersing the plate in silver nitrate, and exposing an image on the plate in a camera? (You know, the process of wet-collodian photography.) In this short doc about the photographing of Osho therapist Sugandho in the middle of the desert, one can’t help but hear the phrase labor of love.

For the Love of Dog: Street Dog

If you happen to be feeling sorry for yourself this Valentines Day, there’s nothing more dispelling than a walk with a dog. The sweetest of Valentines is this simple ‘running film’ that follows a guy and his dog, adopted as a stray puppy in Uganda and who now lives (and runs) with him throughout Edinburgh, Scotland. (Don’t forget, there are only a few million marvelous mutts hoping to be adopted at shelters across the world. All you get in return is true love!)

Header image comes from Giant Ant's music video "James Vincent McMorrow // National."