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The Real Sherlock Holmes



So you think you know Sherlock Holmes? Well, hold on to your deerstalker hats because
THE REAL SHERLOCK HOLMES, a new fast-paced documentary directed by Gary Lang, provides compelling evidence that the famous fictional sleuth has influenced the 21st century in ways that few could possibly imagine.

With help from a dynamic cast of real-life characters and a visual style designed to provoke and amuse, THE REAL SHERLOCK HOLMES dares to deduce that modern crime-solving, forensic science, espionage and even space travel might have evolved in much different ways were it not for Holmes. 

It’s no mystery that Sherlock Holmes is one of the most enduring pop culture characters—the first ever to become more famous than its creator. The consulting detective first entered the crime scene in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Study in Scarlet” (1887) but it was his adventures in wildly popular stories first published in The Strand Magazine, between 1891 to 1926, that sealed his fame. Since then, Doyle’s Holmes tales have never been out of print.

Sherlock Holmes is also the most adapted literary character in history—his trusty comrade and chronicler Dr. John H. Watson always along for the ride. Their most recent screen adventures include two Sherlock Holmes features films directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, the BBC-TV series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and the new CBS series Elementary starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.

“You could go back and say that Holmes was the Model T of all modern science fiction, of mystery fiction, of genre fiction,” says pop culture critic Scott Brown in THE REAL SHERLOCK HOLMES.

But the unparalleled influence of Doyle’s stories on crime fiction is merely the most obvious clue. In THE REAL SHERLOCK HOLMES, director Lang extends The Great Detective’s legacy beyond popular culture, taking a romp into the future to uncover Homes’ impact on late 20th and early 21st-century innovation and thinking.

The plot thickens as Dr. Marvin Minsky, one of the early pioneers of artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, muses on Sherlock’s uncanny deductive powers; Dr. James B. Garvin, head of NASA’s Mars project, states Holmes was an early inspiration for his groundbreaking work; Lt. General Samuel Wilson (ret) calls Holmes the patron saint of intelligence analysis; while crime historian E.J. Wagner (The Science of Sherlock Holmes) explains how Holmes anticipated modern forensics, a theory confirmed by UK’s top criminal profiler Lee Rainbow, Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland Dr. David Fowler, various scientists working at Toronto’s Centre of Forensic Sciences and leading geo-profiler Ian Laverty. 

Vancouver’s Lions Gate Investigations Group, a private investigation firm operated by former undercover cops, takes a page from Doyle’s stories to recreate a sting operation inspired by Holmes’s pioneering work with disguises.

Pop culture experts Matthew Sweet (BBC), Scott Brown (Wired), Steven Doyle (Sherlock Holmes for Dummies) and Sherlock enthusiasts Nick Utechin (BBC – Sherlock Holmes Society of London) and Mark Gatiss (co-creator of BBC’s Sherlock) gush about Holmes enduring popularity and speculate on the relationship between Holmes and Watson. Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle makes an appearance to commiserate on Sherlock’s success – and how the great detective eclipsed his other literary work. 

New interviews are interspersed with original shooting, including a trip to London’s Sherlock Holmes Museum at the famous 221B Baker Street address; surprising and wide-ranging archival footage and clips from various Sherlock productions are underscored by Ken Myhr’s jazzy sound track.

The evidence is clear. THE REAL SHERLOCK HOLMES is one of the most fascinating, insightful and rollicking documentaries on the great detective to hit the TV screen.




Gary Lang is an accomplished Director, Writer, and Story Editor specializing in factual entertainment for international television.  In the past eighteen years, Lang has directed, written or story produced over a hundred award-winning programs seen by millions worldwide.  Top broadcasters include The Discovery Channel (US, Canada, and International), National Geographic (US and International), History Channel (US), Canal+ (France), Channel Four (UK), Five (UK), and History Television (Canada).


Ed Barreveld has been making films since 1986 when he joined Canada’s Oscar-winning National Film Board. He has been an independent producer since 1996, focusing on POV, auteur driven documentaries. Since 2004, he has been the sole principal of Storyline Entertainment, which he co-founded in 2000. Storyline’s films are broadcast globally, have shown at festivals like Tribeca, Hot Docs, IDFA, TIFF and have garnered awards, including 2 Geminis. His recent films include The World Before Her (Best Documentary - Tribeca 2012, Best Canadian Documentary - Hot Docs 2012), Herman’s House, Lone Twin (IDFA 2011) and The Market (IDFA 2010).


Ricardo Acosta trained at the Cuban Film Institute in Havana.  Since moving to Canada he has edited documentary and dramas, including The Take (Avi Lewis/Naomi Klein), Tiger Spirit (Gemini winner) and The Market (Rama Rau).  Ricardo was a 2006 and 2011 Sundance Institute Fellow and a 2012 Mentor.  He recently finished Storyline’s Herman's House. Ricardo’s films have been screened at festivals including Berlin, Venice, TIFF and Hot Docs and are broadcast globally.


Lorenzo Massa is a Toronto based editor.  He is a graduate of The London International Film School in the UK. He began his career cutting television commercials for major advertising agencies in Toronto, before moving on to television series, feature films and documentaries. His work covers a wide range of genres and styles, from classic documentary films for PBS to campy sci-fi dramas for Roger Corman.  And he has had the opportunity to work with one of Hollywood’s most renowned directors, Bob Rafelson.



Rob Ruzic has been editing documentaries and factual TV since 2001.  Documentaries he has edited have screened at film festivals internationally including The Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs and The Viennale and have been broadcast on CITY-TV, BRAVO!, TVO, PBS and OMNI.  TV series he has edited have aired on The Discovery Channel, Space, The A-Channel and The Outdoor Channel. His work on the docu-series Fanboy Confessional earned him a C.C.E. Awards nomination for Best Editing in Lifestyle/Reality.


With a back ground in lighting design, and 10 year experience as a Director of Photography, Simon Shohet has shot over 300 music videos and commercials, 10 TV series, and 3 feature films.  He has worked closely with many of Canada's top filmmakers, musician, actors and designers.  He has received 4 MMVA nominations for cinematography, 1 Gemini nomination and 1 CSC nomination.



Mary Wong began her career at the CBC as a film and video editor as well as an audio recordist. Along with projects for Storyline, she has worked on various documentaries for the CBC including several episodes of the series  Love, Hate, and Propoganda. She is multi-lingual and lives in Toronto.



Ken Myhr has scored over 75 award winning documentaries and feature films. Recent work includes The World Before Her, Herman’s House and The Market. His work is heard weekly on the opening credits of CBC’s The Nature of Things.  He studied contemporary composition, jazz and world music at York University and studied with Ellington alumni Fred Stone, master drummer Trichy Sankaran, and African drummer Abraham Adzinya. He has contributed to many CD’s, including Cowboy Junkies and Jane Siberry.


Daniel Pellerin has worked in sound and music post production for film and television for the past 32 years, as recording and re-recording mixer / engineer, sound design and music supervisor / editor.
For the past 16 years, he has specialized in mixing, editing and music
supervising in digital 5.1 audio format for film, presently utilizing the most current digital technology, specializing in HD productions that heavily rely on CGI content.
He has been nominated for 11 Genie Awards for which he has won three (Atom Egoyan’s “The Sweet Hereafter”, Istvan Szabo’s “Sunshine” and Clement Virgo’s “Love Come Down”) and 16 Gemini Awards, for which he has won two (“Musicians in Exile” and “Under the Piano”). Hot Doc Awards for Sound include Nettie Wild’s “A Place Called Chiapas” and Ric Bienstock’s “Ebola: Inside an Outbreak”.



Tom Hillman serves as Director of Ghost Fx at Renegade Motion Picture Corporation. Mr. Hillman is a self-taught multifaceted artist. Using his innovative cutting edge design principles, he has given unique style to over 150 productions in the last ten years that he has animated, produced, or directed going to air on television and film.

Before Ghost FX, Hillman opened his first company in 1994 and since has won an array of awards from Gold and Silver International BDA's (Broadcast Design Awards), Graphic Design Exchange, and the Best Canadian Station ID spot in 2000.

Hillman has directed visual effects for a Disney television special (Tough to be a Bug), two international short films for Bravo, two years of the Canadian Juno Awards, and two feature films (The Covenant and Battle Queen 2020).

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