Pat Rocco Dared

In-person screening and discussion February 11, 2023 at 7pm | Virtual screening and recorded discussion February 14th to 28th
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts | 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Canadian LGBTQ documentary filmmaker Charlie David explores the life and film work of Pat Rocco, the man who dared to put the first same sex kiss on the big screen.

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In the 1970s, Playboy magazine dubbed Pat Rocco the King of the Nudies, but he is much more than an erotic filmmaker – Rocco is an activist, artist, filmmaker, and entertainer. He’s the whole Hollywood package, with one more story to tell: his own.

He arrived in Hollywood with his parents at the age of eleven. By seventeen he knew he was gay, had moved away from home, and was living as an out, gay, young man. It was 1951.

Artistic, erotic, and highly romanticized, his films were controversial not due to how explicit they were but rather their bold political and artistic expression. In A Very Special Friend, Rocco dared to screen the first kiss between two men ever seen on a big theatre screen.

Without Pat’s films, much of the early LGBTQ rights movement would be undocumented as mainstream press was not covering it. Pat Rocco documented the early queer rights movements in Los Angeles and San Francisco at a time when it was legally and physically precarious to do so. There is a record of Harvey Milk’s historic speech and attendance at the Los Angeles Pride Parade shortly before his murder because Pat Rocco was there with his camera.

In addition to his work as an activist and artist, Pat Rocco was the International Grand Marshall for Vancouver Pride in 2011, and the parade makes a brief appearance in the film.

Told through candid personal interviews with Charlie David at Pat’s home in Hawaii, as well as with friends such as Phyllis Diller, Reverend Troy Perry and film historian Whitney Strub, discover the prolific life of Pat Rocco.


  • Bob Christie – Co-Director
  • Morris Chapdelaine – Co-Director
  • Michelle Fortin – Co-Chair, Vancouver Pride Society
  • Brendan Lucas – Former Legacy Project Manager with Outfest LA
  • Moderator: Ritesh Matlani

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Join Vancouver Pride Society at Unicorn Disco for an outlandish dance party and drag show featuring international and local talent, celebrate Black History Month with Periodt: a Black Queer Poetry Slam, strut the runway at the Wintour is Coming Ball curated by Van Vogue Jam and more!


The Vancouver Pride Society strives to produce events that reflect the pride the 2SLGBTQAI+ community has in itself, by strengthening the sense of community, and contributing to the vibrancy, health and overall well-being of all persons in the community.

VPS is a not-for-profit organization that relies on donations from participants and sponsors. All donations collected by the VPS go directly into producing future events, or to support community initiatives.

The VPS raises thousands of dollars annually for community organizations and charities, through direct fundraising events and partnerships. Fundraising also helps other local non-profits sustain their services for those who require assistance.

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1. Purchase a ticket here or by clicking on the Get Tickets section.
2. You will receive an email with information on how to watch the film and recorded panel discussion.
3. Pat Rocco Dared and recorded panel discussion is available from February 14th to 28th.

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