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Clooney will present to Sean Penn the Joel Siegel Award at the 17Th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards

The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) announced today that renowned actor and humanitarian Sean Penn will be presented with the fifth annual Joel Siegel Award at the 17th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards. The award will be presented by fellow actor and 13-time Critics' Choice Award nominee George Clooney. The ceremony will air live on VH1 on Thursday, January 12 at 8:00 PM ET/PT.

Given annually, this special award pays homage to beloved "Good Morning America" film critic and BFCA member Joel Siegel, who lost his long struggle with cancer in June 2007. It seeks to honor those who understand, as Joel did, that the greatest value of celebrity is as an enhanced platform to do good works for others.

Sean Penn founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization in the immediate aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. Since then J/P HRO has led the effort to raise money and awareness in response to the disaster, which took more than 200,000 lives. Led by Penn, J/P HRO is dedicated to saving lives and bringing sustainable programs to the Haitian people quickly and effectively.

"We are extremely proud to be able to make this presentation to Sean on this night in particular, exactly two years after the devastating earthquake struck Haiti," says BFCA President Joey Berlin. "While it was heartening to see such an outpouring of support and aid for the Haitian people in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the long-term commitment made by Sean and his organization is particularly notable. The Joel Siegel Award was created to spotlight such above and beyond efforts by the leading lights of our industry and its spirit is truly personified by Sean Penn."

Penn has been nominated for seven Critics' Choice Awards throughout his career, including two wins in the Best Actor category, for "Mystic River" and "Milk." His five additional nominations included Best Actor for "I Am Sam," Best Acting Ensemble for "Mystic River" and "Milk," Best Director for "Into the Wild" and Best Writer for "Into the Wild." In 2011, Penn starred in "The Tree of Life," a Critics' Choice Best Picture nominee.

The evening will also honor Martin Scorsese with the Critics' Choice Music+Film Award. In addition to this honor, Scorsese's film "Hugo" is nominated for 11 Critics' Choice Awards and he directed the Best Documentary Feature nominee "George Harrison: Living in the Material World." Hosts for the star-studded awards gala will be comedians Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel.

The Critics' Choice Movie Awards are bestowed annually by the BFCA to honor the finest in cinematic achievement. The BFCA is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 250 television, radio and online critics. BFCA members are the primary source of information for today's film going public. Eligible films were released in 2011. The accounting firm of CMM, LLP tallied the written ballots.

Since its inception in 1995, the Critics' Choice Movie Awards has been a star-studded bellwether event of the movie awards season. Historically, the Critics' Choice Movie Awards are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations. Last year, for example, all four of the acting category winners at the Oscars - Colin FirthNatalie PortmanChristian Bale and Melissa Leo - first accepted their awards in the same categories at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards. In all, 18 of the 20 actors nominated for Oscars were first Critics' Choice Movie Awards nominees.

Final ballots for the 17th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards will be sent to BFCA members on January 8, 2012 with a deadline for returning final ballots on January 10, 2012. For more information about the show visit CriticsChoice.VH1.com"Like" VH1 on Facebook, and follow @VH1 on Twitter and use the hashtag #CCMA to talk about the awards!

The 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards is executive produced by Jesse Ignjatovic for Den of Thieves, Joey Berlin for Berlin Entertainment and Lee Rolontz for VH1.

About The Broadcast Film Critics Association:

The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 250 television, radio and online critics. BFCA members are the primary source of information for today's film going public. The very first opinion a moviegoer hears about new releases at the multiplex or the art house usually comes from one of its members.

About Den of Thieves:

Founded in 2007 by Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager, Den of Thieves has quickly emerged as a force for ambitious event shows and uniquely stylized reality television series. Using their extensive experience working with talent, Ignjatovic and Prager launched Den of Thieves as the TV arm of the Warner Music Group in 2007. After a successful three year partnership there, they branched out and are now fully independent. With an array of formats ranging from Comedy Central's stand-up special "Russell Brand in NYC" to VH1's "The T.O. Show" to the MTV Video Music Awards, Den of Thieves continues to create, develop and produce original television.

About VH1:

VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with TV series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 99 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital channels and services including VH1Classic, VH1 Soul, VH1 Mobile, and extensive video on VH1.com. Connect with VH1 at VH1.com.

About J/P HAITIAN RELIEF ORGANIZATION:

J/P Haitian Relief Organization is dedicated to saving lives and bringing sustainable programs to the Haitian people quickly and effectively. Following the tragic earthquake of 2010 J/P HRO began working immediately to make an impact in Haiti. J/P HRO works with both government and non-governmental agencies to deliver immediate results where the need is greatest. Efforts include but are not limited to providing emergency medical and primary care services, delivering badly needed medical equipment and medicine, distributing food and water purification systems, improving communication systems, and developing housing and education facilities. The goal of J/P Haitian Relief Organization is to help lift the nation of Haiti out of the rubble and give the Haitian people a better life. More information can be found at http://www.jphro.org/

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