Finch began working as co-editor for the BBC television documentary series Arena in the early 1970s. He produced and directed many notable programs including My Way (1978), and The Private Life of the Ford Cortina (1982). He rose to prominence with the documentary Chelsea Hotel (1981), which profiled the famed New York hotel and its legacy of famous gay guests, including Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, William S. Burroughs, Quentin Crisp and Andy Warhol. His documentary subjects include artist Robert Mapplethorpe (1988), filmmaker Kenneth Anger (1991), and artist Louise Bourgeois (1994). Finch went on to direct films such as the BAFTA-nominated drama The Lost Language of Cranes, and the musical soap opera The Vampyr.
Finch died from AIDS-related illness in London in 1995 during post-production of his first full-length feature film Stonewall, a docudrama loosely based on events leading up to the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City.
|1978||Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision||director; producer||Omnibus series TV documentary; also known as Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood|
|1978||My Way||director||Arena series TV documentary|
|1980||The Errand||director||short film|
|1981||Did You Miss Me?||director||Arena series TV documentary|
|1981||Chelsea Hotel||director||Arena series TV documentary of the Hotel Chelsea in New York City|
|1982||The Private Life of the Ford Cortina||director||Arena series TV documentary|
|1983||Kurt Vonnegut , Jr: "Deadeye Dick"||director||Arena series TV documentary|
|1984||The Caravaggio Conspiracy||director|
|1985||Ligmalion: A Musical for the 80s||director; producer||TV film|
|1986||Raspberry Ripple||director||TV film|
|1986||Shergar||director||Screen Two TV series episode (Season 2, Episode 11)|
|1988||Robert Mapplethorpe||director||Arena series TV documentary featuring Robert Mapplethorpe|
|1988||Whatever Lola Wants||director||Bergerac TV series episode|
|1989||25x5: The Continuing Adventures of the Rolling Stones||director||TV documentary|
|1991||Kenneth Anger||director||documentary about film-maker Kenneth Anger|
|1991||The Lost Language of Cranes||director||TV film; also 1992 Screen Two TV series episode (Season 8, Episode 4)|
|1992–1993||The Vampyr: A Soap Opera||director||TV film|
|1993||Tales of Rock 'N' Roll: Peggy Sue||director||Arena series TV documentary on the Buddy Holly song "Peggy Sue"|
|1994||Louise Bourgeois: No Trespassing||director|
|1988||BAFTA TV Award||Best Factual Series||Arena TV series||Nominated|
|1989||BAFTA TV Award||Best Factual Series||Arena TV series||Won|
|1990||BAFTA TV Award||Best Factual Series||Arena TV series||Nominated|
|1991||BAFTA TV Award||Best Factual Series||Arena TV series||Nominated|
|1992||BAFTA TV Award||Best Factual Series||Arena TV series||Nominated|
|1981||Chicago International Film Festival Gold Hugo||Best Short Film||The Errand||Nominated|
|1995||BFI London Film Festival||Audience Award||Stonewall||Won|
|1996||Frameline Film Festival||Audience Award||Stonewall||Won|
Nigel Finch's death was commemorated in the ending title of the opera-film "Dido and Aeneas" (1995) directed by Peter Maniura (conducted by Richard Hickox. See the corresponding entry in Dido and Aeneas discography).
- Forde, John (2006). Routledge International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture. London: Routledge. p. 217.
- Williams, Nigel (17 February 1995). "Obituary: Nigel Finch". The Independent. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- Levy, Emanuel (July 23, 1996). "Riot Girls". The Advocate (Liberation Publications Inc.): 51–53.