A new Irish movie made on a budget of less than €100,000 has been given the go-ahead to screen in some of Ireland's major cinemas alongside Hollywood blockbusters.

8.5 hours, which centres around one Monday in the lives of four Irish people, is set in the final stages of the Celtic Tiger boom years. Writer and director Brian Lally said he was thrilled that the film would be screened next to box-office hits such as Avatar.

"I wanted to tell the stories of four very different and compelling modern Irish characters who thrived during the Celtic Tiger years, but as that period ends, their worlds start to crumble. Because of this, there is a lot of black comedy in the film. Already, some scenes have become notorious," he said.

8.5 hours will open in Cineworld in Dublin, Movies@Dundrum and other cinemas around Ireland on 29 January.

It stars Irish actors Lynette Callaghan of Cold Feet, Fair City's Victor Burke, Art Kearns from The Clinic and former Glenroe actress Geraldine Plunkett.

It was also recently screened at the International Film Festival Ireland in Clonmel and won the Best Irish Feature Film award, while leading actress Lynette Callaghan won the Best Actress award at the Yellow Fever Independent Film festival in Belfast.

Lally said the film had stirred up controversy due to its depiction of the hedonistic lifestyle of some Irish individuals in the boom years.

"The subject has piqued the public's interest, and the film contains scenes which have already created quite a large amount of controversy and reaction from the audiences who have seen it so far."

8.5 hours was independently produced with no state funding or contribution from the Irish Films and Television Network.