Norsk filminstitutt

A History of the World According to Getty Images’ is a short documentary about property, profit, and power, made out of archive footage sourced from the online catalogue of Getty Images. It forms a historical journey through some of the most significant moments of change caught on camera while at the same time reflecting on archive images’ own histories as commodities whose ownership often changes hands.  

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Thorvald Nilsen


  • Richard Misek

    Richard Misek is a filmmaker and academic, whose work explores and inhabits the spaces between documentary film, digital art, and streaming video. He was born in Liverpool, educated at Oxford and Harvard universities, and worked as a video editor before completing a PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2008.

    His hybrid video essay, real-time VR experience, and expanded cinema performance A Machine For Viewing(2019, co-created with Charlie Shackleton and Oscar Raby) screened at IDFA, Sundance Film Festival, and the Eye Filmmuseum (Amsterdam). His feature documentary Rohmer in Paris (2014) has been screened on five continents and at venues including the National Museum of Art (Washington D.C.), Museum of Moving Image and Anthology Film Archives (New York), the Barbican Centre and BFI Southbank (London), and Forum des images (Paris). He is also a pioneer in the field of audiovisual film and media studies, and his video essays have been cited in numerous best-of lists. 

    His research focuses in particular on exploring and expanding digital access to arts and culture and the digital commons. He has led several grant-funded research projects on film and online culture in collaboration with partners including Arts Council England, the Whitechapel Gallery, and the British Film Institute. Recent projects include ‘From TV to Metaverse: towards an inclusive Web 3.0’ (2022-23, Unimob/University of Bergen) and ‘Digital Access to Arts and Culture’ (2020-22, Arts and Humanities Research Council), the results of which have been widely reported in media outlets including the BBC and The Guardian. 

    His latest film, A History Of The World According To Getty Images, forms part of a longer investigative project into the power of the commercial archive industry, and the effect of this power on public access to our shared audiovisual heritage. 

    He is currently Associate Professor in Screen Media at the University of Bergen in Norway. 


Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
DMZ DOCS International Documentary Film Festival
BIFF - Bergen International Film Festival
IDFA - International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival
Reykjavik International Film Festival


Richard Misek
Richard Misek

Technical information

DCP 4k
Black and White
Length in min's: