This work investigates multifunctional composite films synthesized with cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) and poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA). First, TEMPO-oxidized CNFs were modified in the heterogeneous phase with benzophenone, diisocyanate, and epoxidized soybean oil via esterification reactions. A thorough characterization was carried out via elemental analysis as well as FT-IR and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies and solid-state NMR. Following, the surface-modified CNFs were combined with PVA to endow composite films with UV-absorbing capabilities while increasing their thermomechanical strength and maintaining a high light transmittance. Compared to neat PVF films, the tensile strength, Young modulus, and elongation of the films underwent dramatic increases upon addition of the reinforcing phase (maximum values of ∼96 MPa, ∼ 714 MPa, and ∼350%, respectively). A high UV blocking performance, especially in the UVB region, was observed for the introduced multifunctional PVA films at CNF loadings below 5 wt %. The trade-off between modified nanofibril function as interfacial reinforcement and aggregation leads to an optimum loading. The results indicate promising applications, for example, in active packaging.