Sousa had been nominated for an Oscar in 2014, in the same category, with the short film "Feral", which he made.

The story of "Kapaemahu" is based on the tradition of the Mahu culture of the North American state of Hawaii, and is narrated in the Indigenous language Olelo Niihau. The film has been shown at many film festivals after its 2020 premiere at the Tribeca film festival in the United States, where it received a special jury mention. Born in Cape Verde in 1974, Daniel Sousa lived in Portugal until adolescence and later settled in the United States, where he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. In addition to "Feral", Daniel Sousa signed the animated short films "Minotaur", "Fable", "The windmill" and "Drift".

The Academy has revealed the shortlists in total nine categories, including Best International Film, Best Documentary and Best Original Soundtrack. Despite annually submitting a work to the Oscars, Portugal has never had any film among the nominees for the award for best foreign film, in non-English language, a category recently renamed Best International Film.

In this category the finalists are "Another Round" (Denmark), "Quo Vadis, Aida?" (Bosnia and Herzegovina), "La llorona" (Guatemala), "El agente topo" (Chile), "Charlatan" (Czech Republic), "Deux" (France), "Better days" (Hong Kong), "Sun children" (Iran), "Night of the kings" (Ivory Coast), "Ya no estoy aqui" (Mexico), "Hope" (Norway), "Collective" (Romania), "Dear comrades!" (Russia), "A Sun" (Taiwan) and "The man who sold his skin" (Tunisia). The nominees for the 93rd Academy Awards will be announced on March 15 and the ceremony will take place on April 25. The ceremony was initially scheduled for February 28, but was eventually postponed to April because of the covid-19 pandemic.