Mark Finch was best known for helming the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival between 1992 and 1994. A consummate networker, Finch greatly increased the number of films shown at the festival and expanded the festival showings to places outside San Francisco. He also made the event an important showcase for up-and-coming filmmakers and producers of gay-themed films from all over the world. He also created the first lesbian/gay film market for distributors, sales agents, and independent film producers. This market first appeared at the festival in 1995. Finch appeared as an actor in one film, Greg Araki's gay-themed road romance The Living End (1992).
Prior to his involvement with the festival, Finch graduated with honors and a bachelor's degree in film and literature from Warwick University in his native England. He started out as a journalist, writing about gay themes and camp in Hollywood cinema for a variety of journals. He then became a programmer for The Picadilly Film Festival, London's independent film showcase, and also worked at the British Film Institute, helming the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in London. Though boyishly charming and upbeat in his professional life, Finch apparently battled severe depression. On January 14, 1995, Finch threw himself off the middle span of Golden Gate Bridge, leaving behind a briefcase containing several notes indicating his intent to die. His death was not actually confirmed until six weeks after his leap when state police found his body floating seven miles off the coast.