TIFF 2021: A playlist of memorable moments from the soundtrack


While it still wasn’t a full return to normal, this year’s in-person / digital hybrid film festival was something to celebrate. Not only because TIFF 2021 brought another impressive list of new movies to audiences, but because it marked a real comeback in cinema for many of us. It’s given us so much to be thankful for: the chance to discover emerging talent, meet old friends (both on and off screen), and experience our favorite medium in cinema. With COVID security measures and social distancing in place, masked fans could return to a film festival mode that was so close to familiar that it sparked joy throughout downtown Toronto.

This also does not detract from the benefits of drive-thru and digital projections. Still don’t feel comfortable in larger crowds, or maybe find yourself a convert to 24-hour pajama fashion? There was plenty to watch and experience there too, all with your choice of drinks and snacks on hand.

Who knows what next year’s festival will bring, so for now, we’ll just be grateful for this year’s fifteen films, regardless of our screen size or audience size.

Every year after the festival ends, we here at That Shelf take a peek at songs from the soundtrack that have stuck with us long after the credits of the film. So, once the awards have been announced and the final film has been screened, we put together a playlist to remind us of another past TIFF. This year we have seen key tunes from musician biographies like Shredded and Dionne Warwick: Don’t give up on me, a string of classics from the 80s (“Fame”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”), the dance track by Jamie Dornan and the happy song by Caitriona Balfe Belfast dance scene (“Everlasting Love”), and much more.

Log into the playlist, then scroll down to see where each track has appeared:

Here is a list of the places where the songs were presented:

  1. Destroyer’s “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood” (featured in A fit of rage)
  2. “Downtown” by Petula Clark (featured in Last night in Soho)
  3. Love Affair’s “Everlasting Love” (featured in Belfast)
  4. “The winner takes it all” by ABBA (featured in Bergman Island)
  5. “Gloria” by Umberto Tozzi (featured in Wolf)
  6. “Fame” by Irene Cara (featured in Silent night)
  7. “I want to dance with someone (who loves me)” by Whitney Houston (featured in Scarborough)
  8. “All I Need is a Miracle” by Mike & the Mechanics (featured in Spencer)
  9. Roxette’s “Joyride” (featured in To flee)
  10. “You Outta Know” by Alanis Morissette (featured in Shredded)
  11. City Natives’ Dream Catchers (featured in savagery)
  12. Sylvan Esso’s “Radio” (featured in Ali and Ava)
  13. “Love on the Rise” by Kenny G, Kashif (featured in Listen to Kenny G)
  14. “Against All Odds (Take A Look at Me Now)” by Phil Collins (featured in Meet)
  15. “This is What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick with Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder (featured in Dionne Warwick: Don’t give up on me)
  16. “Didn’t I” by Darondo (featured in Learn to swim)
  17. “Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis” by Vaughan Williams (presented in Blessing)

Did we miss any other songs that stood out for you from this year’s festival? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them! Or come back with our previous TIFF playlists on our Spotify!

Many thanks to the contributors to this year’s playlist: Rachel West, Pat Mullen and Courtney Small.

To follow This shelf for our latest coverage, including reviews, interviews and more, from TIFF – and join the conversation on Twitter and Mailbox.


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