Jamie Dornan in Belfast for TIFF 2021: A Playlist

TIFF 2021: A Playlist of Memorable Soundtrack Moments

Though it still wasn’t a complete return to normal, this year’s in-person/digital hybrid film festival was a cause for celebration. Not just because TIFF 2021 brought with it another impressive slate of new films for audiences to enjoy, but because it marked a true return to the movies for many of us. It gave us so much to be thankful for: the chance to discover emerging talents, to meet up with old friends (both on-screen and off), and to experience our favourite medium back in the cinema. With COVID safety measures and social distancing in place, masked fans could get back into a film festival mode that was so close to being familiar that it sparked joy all over Toronto’s downtown core.

That’s not to take away from the pluses of the drive-in and digital screenings either. Don’t feel comfortable in larger crowds yet or perhaps find yourself a lockdown convert of the 24-hour pyjama mode? There was lots to watch and experience there too, all with your choice of beverages and snacks within easy reach.

Who knows what next year’s festival will bring, so for the time being we will just be grateful for this year’s fortnight of film—no matter the size of our screen or audience.

Each year after the festival wraps, we here at That Shelf take a look back at the soundtrack songs that stuck with us long after the film’s credits rolled. So after the awards have been announced and the final film screened, we pull together a playlist to remind us of another TIFF come and gone. This year we saw key tunes from musician bios like Jagged and Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over, a host of ’80s classics (“Fame”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”), the dance track from Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe’s joyful Belfast dance scene (“Everlasting Love”), and much, much more.


Tune in to the playlist, then scroll down to find out where each track appeared:

Here’s a list of where the songs were featured:

  1. “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood” by Destroyer (featured in Kicking Blood)
  2. “Downtown” by Petula Clark (featured in Last Night in Soho)
  3. “Everlasting Love” by Love Affair (featured in Belfast)
  4. “The Night” by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (featured in The Tsugua Diaries)
  5. “The Winner Takes it All” by ABBA (featured in Bergman Island)
  6. “Gloria” by Umberto Tozzi (featured in Wolf)
  7. “Fame” by Irene Cara (featured in Silent Night)
  8. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston (featured in Scarborough)
  9. “All I Need is a Miracle” by Mike & the Mechanics (featured in Spencer)
  10. “Joyride” by Roxette (featured in Flee)
  11. “Enter Sandman” by Apocalyptica (featured in Mr. Kneff)
  12. “You Outta Know” by Alanis Morissette (featured in Jagged)
  13. “Dream Catchers” by City Natives (featured in Wildhood)
  14. “Light House” by Future Islands (featured in Titane)
  15. “Radio” by Sylvan Esso (featured in Ali & Ava)
  16. “Love on the Rise” by Kenny G, Kashif (featured in Listening to Kenny G)
  17. “Against All Odds (Take A Look at Me Now)” by Phil Collins (featured in Encounter)
  18. “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick with Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder (featured in Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over)
  19. “Didn’t I” by Darondo (featured in Learn To Swim)
  20. “Radetzky March” by Johann Strauss (featured in The Power of the Dog)
  21. “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis” by Vaughan Williams (featured in Benediction)

Did we miss any other songs that stuck with you from this year’s fest? Tell us in the comments and we’ll add them in! Or check back in with our previous TIFF playlists over on our Spotify!

A big thank you to this year’s playlist contributors: Rachel West, Pat Mullen, Will Perkins and Courtney Small.

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