Onni Tommila

Already a festival favorite and action star at age 15, Finnish actor Onni Tommila caught the attention of international audiences, starring alongside Samuel L. Jackson in his first English-language film, "Big Game" (2014). Born in 1999 in Finland, Tommila came from a showbiz family, with his mother Ida Helander-Tommila, who worked as a set-designer, his father, Jorma Tommila, whom he starred alongside in the horror holiday film, "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale" (2010) and his writer/director uncle, Jalmari Helander, who directed that film as well as the follow-up hit, "Big Game." Before he could even remember, Tommila was appearing in his uncle's projects, from short films at age 6; his first major role was in the horror fantasy flick, "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale," where he plays a precocious young boy who uncovers the more sinister legend of Santa Claus. Playing father and son, the two actors had a natural rapport and the darkly funny film became a cult film ideal for the Christmas season. It also took the Piazza Grande Award at Locarno as well as the top prizes at the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival. Following the success of his 2010 film, Jalmari Helander tapped his nephew once again for another kid-powered adventure that harkened back to kind of fare churned out by Amblin Entertainment in the eighties. The director had his nephew in mind while he conceptualized the story, a cross-pollinated action-thriller about a teen whose camping trip turns into a presidential rescue operation when Air Force Once gets shot down. With Samuel L. Jackson as the POTUS, the film riffs off this odd-couple pairing and lets Tommila lead all the action, fighting off terrorists with only a bow and arrow. Making its debut at the Toronto Film Festival, the film delighted critics and audiences and was the second runner up for the festival's Midnight Audience Award.