IT was released in 1929, the same year that its star Janet Gaynor won the very first Academy Award for Best Actress, but Lucky Star has been relegated to a footnote in the history of silent cinema. Perhaps it suffered unfairly because it arrived right at the birth of the talkies. If so, then tomorrow night’s screening at the Mackintosh Church as part of the Glasgow Film Festival might go some way towards restoring its fame.

“From the opening scene you know it’s a masterpiece,” insists Ela Orleans, the Poland-born, Glasgow-based musician who has created a brand-new score for the film. “It’s rarely the case that you can watch one scene over and over again and actually enjoy it, but this is so gorgeously filmed and the story is lovely and [director] Frank Borzage is such a huge master of cinema, that it was great material to work on.”

Orleans – whose electro concept album Upper Hell, produced by Howie B, featured on many best-of lists last year – has composed for feature films previously, most recently for Swedish director Maja Borg’s Man and American film-maker Juliacks’ Architecture Of An Atom. But this full-length, 100-minute commission from Glasgow Film Festival represents her biggest challenge yet in this field.

“I began with a scene at the beginning which I thought was the most difficult but then had to change it because it didn’t fit,” she explains. “So I just started to work from Scene One and develop things, finding themes for certain places more than for people.

“There are maybe four places, which are all kind of fairytale-ish and tragic and beautiful and romantic.”

The story takes place both during and after the First World War when the conflict and its consequences throw obstacles in the way of the love between farm girl Mary (Gaynor) and soldier Tim (Charles Farrell).

Not merely the composer, Orleans will perform the score live in sync with the screening at its festival premiere.

“I also wrote some very simple lyrics which don’t override the storyline,” she says. “They’re more like parts of dialogue and are connected with the titles as well – hopefully they’re catchy and fit the whole thing. I’ll be doing vocals and playing violin, synthesiser and computer, playing partially live because it’s impossible to play all 40 instruments on the recording. I would have to be an octopus.”