A few months back I was fortunate enough to meet up with a powerfully friendly Spaniard called Nacho Vigalondo. He was attending the Fantastic Fest in Austin, and he was there with his first feature film, the very well-received Timecrimes. How well-received? Strong enough that the Sundance programmers took note and snatched the flick for one of their Park City at Midnight slots! (Plus Jette liked it!) So we figured we'd grab a quick chat with Nacho before he becomes the next big Spanish sensation. Here's what the award-winning filmmaker (and passionate horror geek) had to say on the eve of Sundance 2008:

Cinematical: OK, let's start off with the biggie: What's it feel like to get nominated for an Academy Award?

NV: I used to say that that wasn't a dream come true, because I never even dreamed about going to the Oscars! If you check my short films, or if you read my scripts, you'll think I'm not the kind of director that you attach to the Oscars. Having said that, being an Oscar nominee was one of the most incredible and amusing things that has ever happened to me. And it gave me the possibility to shoot a feature film.

Cinematical: Timecrimes was your first feature after a series of well-received short films. What made you switch to long-form storytelling for this particular movie?

NV: The script. I fell in love with the idea. When the Oscar thing happened, and I started thinking of myself as a feature filmmaker, I decided to shoot the impossible film, the movie you couldn't shoot in other conditions. If Timecrimes is not a common film in the US, just imagine Spain, where we don't even have a genre films market.

Cinematical: Timecrimes had its world premiere at the aptly-named Fantastic Fest in Austin last September. Since then you've screened at Sitges in Spain and several other international film festivals. What's the general reaction been so far?

NV: The movie seems to be working. We won another prize in Trieste, Italy: The "Golden Asteroid" in a science fiction festival. I love to see how the people react to the little comedy elements. And the silence of the last quarter-hour, more into suspense and horror ... What I'm most grateful about is that people keep talking about the movie after watching it, discussing what has happened on screen.