Jimmy Carter may not have gotten a lot of respect when he was president -- maybe the fact that he was called "Jimmy" had something to do with it -- but he's enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as his humanitarian efforts have reminded Americans what they liked about him in the first place. He's not a great politician, but he's an honest, good-hearted man with noble intentions.

And now filmmaker Jonathan Demme (Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense, Neil Young: Heart of Gold) has scored with a documentary about him, called Man from Plains. Now playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, it was at the Venice fest, too, where it picked up three prizes last weekend.

The international critics' jury give the film its top award, while the Human Rights Film Network gave it a prize for best feature film. It also received the Collateral Award for Best Biography, which is presented by the Bologna Film Festival in conjunction with the Venice fest.

Sony Pictures Classics is releasing the film theatrically in October. It follows Carter on his recent tour for his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, which caused a stir with its controversial subject matter.

Demme is perhaps best known as a director of fictional films, including Philadelphia and The Silence of the Lambs (for which he won an Oscar). But his documentaries have been widely acclaimed, too. Many people consider his Talking Heads and Neil Young movies to be among the best concert films ever made. So his portrait of Jimmy Carter promises to be interesting -- and apparently the people in Venice think so, too.