Sarah Doole, Director of Global drama, FremantleMedia said, “FremantleMedia International are beyond excited about the opportunity to work with the extraordinarily talented Roland Joffé. Ugly is truly captivating and exactly the type of project that we have been seeking in our efforts to grow our creation of high end scripted dramas. We are looking forward to discussing the project with the broadcasters at MIPTV.”
In 1695 in the chateau of the Comte de Chateaupers a baby is born. Joy at the baby’s birth is quickly extinguished as it is discovered that the baby boy is deformed. At first sight, his grandmother hurriedly brings a pillow to spare the child from a life of pain and despair, but something in the child’s eyes stops her. Hours later a troupe of travelling actors discover a basket and within lies the newborn baby of surpassing ugliness. Meanwhile, the intemperate Comte de Chateaupers is presented with an heir, never knowing that the child has been hastily bought from a poor woman of the village. The series embarks on a heartfelt journey and shows what it means to be human regardless of your outward appearance. To wrestle with greed, insecurity and fear, to discover the force of compassion, the pain and power of love and the finding of beauty where it is least expected.
Beginning his career in British theater, Joffé was the youngest director at the National Theatre before entering the world of television via Granada, Thames and the BBC. Having worked across successful shows such as Coronation Street, The Stars Look Down and Bill Brand, he had the opportunity to hone his craft. Joffé found his initial success with two episodes of Play for Today, namely The Spongers, winner of a prestigious Prix Italia award and the Best Drama accolade at the Prague Festival, and United Kingdom, featuring Colin Welland. For the latter show, Joffé was nominated for a BAFTA and this laid the groundwork for his first film, The Killing Fields, a frighteningly realistic depiction of a Cambodia torn apart by war and terrorism. For that, and for his second feature, The Mission, he received several Oscar nominations, including Best Director for both.